Hundred-Year-Old Orange and Mint Salad Recipe

orange-salad-

Orange and Mint Salad is bright and sunny; and the perfect antidote to boring winter foods. The bite-size chunks of orange are mixed with chopped mint, and then drenched in a delightful citrus and wine liquid  to create a refreshing, yet light salad (or dessert).

.  .  . hmm. . . . Now that I think about it, this salad would also be lovely on a hot summer day.  Bottom line: This salad is good whenever you eat it.

Here’s the hundred-year-old recipe

orange-and-mint-salad-recipe
Source: Lowney’s Cook Book (1912)

And, here’s how I updated it for modern cooks.

Orange and Mint Salad

  • Servings: 3 - 4
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

3 medium navel oranges

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

2 tablespoons mint, chopped

2 tablespoons wine

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice (optional)

maraschino cherries and mint sprigs, for garnish

Peel the oranges using care to remove the white membrane. Pull the orange segments apart into two halves, and then pull them apart again so there are quarters. Slice the quarters into pieces about 1/3 inch thick.  Put the orange pieces in a bowl, and gently stir in the powdered sugar and mint.

In a small bowl combine the wine, lemon juice, and orange juice (and, if desired, the maraschino cherry juice). Pour the liquid over the orange and mint mixture.

Serve in champagne (or other decorative) glasses. Garnish with maraschino cherries and mint sprigs.

I only used half as many oranges as were called for in the old recipe.  I also halved the amount of mint that I used.  I did use the full amount of the other ingredients so that I would have plenty of liquid to pour over the orange pieces.

I also added a little maraschino cherry juice to the liquid to give it a lovely pink hue.

And, I skipped the angelica because it’s not easy to find these days. Angelica is the dark green candied fruit that was frequently used in fruit cakes in days gone by.

Let’s Eat Oranges

orangesThe rail system in the United States was in largely in place by the 1910’s, but I’m still surprised sometimes about how readily (and inexpensively) fresh produce was transported across the country a hundred years ago.

Here’s part of a 1916 magazine article about oranges:

Let’s Eat Oranges

Probably the reason many of us consider the orange a luxury rather than an every-day food is because we still cherish memories of the time when the fruit was high-priced and not widely distributed, and an occasional orange was a surprise often reserved for the toe of the Christmas stocking.

Many of us are more or less slaves of our habits of thought, and in face of the fact that oranges can be purchased from December to April at almost any price, and the rest of the year at prices which are moderate when the value received is considered , we do not take advantage of their wonderful dietetic properties because we consider them too expensive.

It is generally known that the orange contains citric acid, which s a liver stimulant, and that it is a gentle laxative. But its wonderful supply of phosphates, a direct nerve-food, is usually overlooked, and the fact the oranges therefore have a most beneficial effect in cases of insomnia is practically unknown. In short, the importance of the orange as an every-day food the year round cannot be too greatly emphasized.

Good Housekeeping (March, 1916)