Blood Orange and Bella di Cerignola Salad with Solerno

Blood Orange Olive Solerno Salad

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow will be dying.

…Robert Herrick

It’s as true of blood oranges as rosebuds. Winter will soon be gone, and with it this most glorious citrus fruit. So juice up the Lenten season with blood oranges. There’s no sin in them.

This classic combination of blood oranges, black olives and a vinaigrette is a wonderful luncheon plate. And jazzing it up with a drizzle of Solerno blood orange liqueur updates it a bit. I’ve used black Bella di Cerignola olives. These olives are delicacies. Huge, with meaty flesh that yields to the bite, they come from Foggia in the region of Puglia. Try them once, and you will be hooked.

I’m always looking for new ways to use Solerno liqueur. Here I’ve drizzled it over the oranges for another layer of flavor. There are no amounts here, except for in the vinaigrette. Make as much or as little of this as you like.

Blood Orange Olive Solerno Salad

Blood Orange and Bella di Cerignola Salad with Solerno

blood oranges
quartered Bella di Cerignola olives
mint sprigs
zest of 2 blood oranges
red wine vinaigrette
Solerno liqueur

Make vinaigrette. Set aside. Using a sharp knife, cut the pith and peel from the oranges. Slice oranges into 1/4 inch rounds. Quarter olives end to end.

Arrange oranges on plate in overlapping pattern. Toss quartered olives with a few tablespoons of vinaigrette. Place olives in center of plate. Drizzle oranges with a tablespoon or two of Solerno. Sprinkle orange zest over plate. Top with mint sprigs.


1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons blood orange juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 – 1/2 cup olive oil

Combine vinegar and blood orange juice in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in olive oil, checking for taste as you go. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add sugar, if desired.

For another take on this classic, see Ciao Chow Linda’s recent post.

Food nerd notes: All black Bella di Cerignola olives are not created equal. Those made by artisanal producers are superior. To obtain the much desired black color, the olives are treated in a multi-step process. For more on this read a most enlightening post from Gustiamo.

Note: You can click on any picture for a slide show!

I have no affiliation with any product, manufacturer, or site mentioned in this article.

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  1. Comment by lory b:

    Ciao cara, che colore incantevole e quanta bontà, siamo in sintonia, adoro le arance rosse!!!
    Un bacio e felice fine settimana!!
    A presto!!!

  2. Comment by zonzolando:

    Ma che piatto magnifico!!!!

  3. Comment by Marie:

    Absolutely beautiful and vibrant Adri, I’m afraid though that I could never supreme my oranges like you did. Perfection!

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Marie,

      I remember year ago when I first tried the technique, I pared off about half the fruit and my finished product was virtually unrecognizable! Thank you for the vote of confidence.

  4. Comment by sippitysup:

    Try this cocktail
    2 ounces Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur
    3/4 ounce Campari
    3/4 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
    2-3 ounces soda water
    Lemon wheel, for garnish


    Shake the Solerno, Campari, and lemon juice on ice and strain over a tall glass filled with fresh ice.

    Top the glass with soda water and stir to incorporate. Garnish with a freshly sliced lemon wheel.

    Makes 1 drink.

  5. Comment by Anthony Fama:

    This recipe is definitely a keeper

  6. Comment by Frank @Memorie di Angelina:

    One of my very favorite winter salads! And this reminds me I haven’t had it all winter. The addition of orange liqueur is a new one for me, but I like the idea…

    • Comment by Adri:

      Well then Frank – it’s time. Grab some blood oranges and get those babies peeled. And as for the Solerno, it heightened the orange flavor. I did not use a lot, but i liked the effect.

  7. Comment by Ciao Chow Linda:

    What a great idea to pair the Solerno with this salad. I love the salty-sweet combo of olives and oranges. Thanks for the shout-out.

  8. Comment by Ely:

    Elegante, gustosa e raffinata! Che bontà! Adoro i piatti a base di frutta!! Un bacione!

  9. Comment by Chiara:

    Splendida, molto chic! Un abbraccio cara Adri…

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