Salad with Burnt Orange and Spiced Walnuts

This is such a refreshing salad; sweet, salt, bitter and spicy by turns. It makes a light lunch for two people or a starter for four and it’s as good in winter as in summer. It’s a movable feast.

You can vary the salad stuff, although I like the snap and slight bitterness of the chicory, and of course leave out the ham if you don’t eat meat.

But do please try the burnt oranges (an idea I nicked from the lovely Sabrina Ghayour’s latest book, Feasts) and the spiced walnuts. They lift this salad out of the ordinary.

Salad with Burnt Orange and Spiced Walnuts

Image of Salad with Burnt Orange and Spiced Walnuts


2 heads of chicory (green and red, if possible)

Big handful of lamb’s lettuce

About 100g Serrano ham (optional), sliced into strips

2 oranges

For the spiced nuts:

50g walnuts

1 tbsp oil

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (1/2 tspn if you like things hot)

1/2 tspn ground cumin

1/2 tspn ground coriander

1/4 tspn salt

1 heaped tspn honey

For the dressing:

Any juice left from preparing the orange

Juice of up to 1/2 lemon

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste


For the spiced nuts, heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan and toss the walnuts to coat. Sprinkle over the cayenne, cumin, coriander and salt. Add the honey and stir well, making sure the walnuts are well coated. Remove from the heat and scoop onto baking paper to cool.

Image of spiced walnuts

Over a plate, peel the skin and pith from the orange and cut out the segments, discarding the pips and reserving any juice. If you have a blowtorch, place them in a heatproof tin and scorch both sides until you have blackened tiger stripes.

Otherwise, heat a pan, pat the segments dry, coat with a scrap of oil and quickly scorch them on both sides. Carefully remove to a plate and set aside.

Image of burnt orangesPour any juice left from peeling the orange into a small lidded jar, adding enough lemon juice and olive oil to make a sharp vinaigrette. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, put on the lid and give it a good shake to emulsify it. (Or whisk everything in a small bowl.)

Pour a tablespoon or two of dressing into a salad bowl. Break off the chicory leaves, slicing in the stalks finely as you go, and add to the bowl with the lambs lettuce. Toss to mix.

Mix in the spiced walnuts and Serrano ham, then scatter with the burnt orange and serve straight away.

Image of Salad with Burnt Orange and Spiced Walnuts

13 thoughts on “Salad with Burnt Orange and Spiced Walnuts

    • It gives them just a hint of a bitter edge, but they’re still sweet and juicy. And I really like those tiggerish stripes! Thanks, Margaret, enjoy your weekend. Lx

  1. This does sound intriguing. Burnt orange has such a nice ring to it, as do the spiced walnuts. And the serrano ham, of course. Some of my favorite tastes in one plate. Sounds like a winner.

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