SPICED ORANGE SALAD
4 to 6 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
Spice blend (see below)
1 mild red onion (6 oz.), peeled and sliced
1/2 cup finely slivered fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
About 1/2 cup black olives such as Niçoise or kalamata
Fresh mint leaves and fresh cilantro leaves, rinsed
1. With a small, sharp knife, cut peel and white membrane from oranges. Slice the oranges crosswise 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick.
2. In a small bowl, mix 4 tablespoons vinegar with olive oil and sugar. Stir in the spice blend.
3. In a wide, shallow bowl, gently mix orange slices, onions, slivered mint, and chopped cilantro. Pour in dressing and mix gently. Taste and add salt and more vinegar if desired.
4. Scatter olives, mint leaves, and cilantro leaves over the top. Spoon salad and dressing onto plates.
Spice blend: Combine 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds or ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon paprika or mild ground dried chili, 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns or 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves, 1/4 teaspoon curry powder, and 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon; if using whole spices, whirl mixture in a grinder or small food processor to a powder.