Insalata D’arancio e Limone, Orange and Lemon Salad

Insalata D’arancio e Limone, Orange and Lemon Salad ~ a unique vintage citrus salad recipe straight from the heart of Sicily.

Vintage cookbooks are like a window into another world from the perspective of the kitchen table. I picked up The Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Lo Pinto at the thrift store the other day. It was published in 1948, before most Americans knew anything or cared to know anything about Italian food outside of spaghetti and meatballs. In fact the book has a huge glossary right up front to define terms like pasta, mozzarella, Parmesan, and ricotta! It’s hard to believe that just 50 years ago these foods were considered exotic.

The first generation author shares recipes from her mother’s and grandmother’s kitchens back in Italy, so it’s a direct a link to an old cuisine relatively untouched by outside influences. Nowadays when food is completely international it’s exciting to find ‘old world’ recipes that haven’t been brought up to date to changed from the way they were done for many generations.

My volume is stuffed with bookmarks. Some of the recipes are classic like gnocchi, lady fingers and veal Parmesan. Others, like Minnow Pancakes, are juuuuuust outside my comfort zone. Most of the recipes are very simple, with short ingredient lists and easy preparation. To our modern eye they might seem almost too simple. This Orange and Lemon Salad caught my eye right away.

I love lemons, but the idea of biting straight into one is a little daunting. I was surprised by how the olive oil tamed the tartness of the lemon, and my addition of the olives balanced the citrus. This would be a nice unexpected salad to serve with traditional heavier Italian food like spaghetti and meatballs or lasagna.

(from The Art of Italian Cooking, 1948)

4 from 4 votes

Insalata D’arancio e Limone, Orange and Lemon Salad

Insalata D'arancio e Limone, Orange and Lemon Salad ~ a unique vintage citrus salad recipe straight from the heart of Sicily.
Course Salad
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Yield 6 servings
Author Sue Moran


  • 3 large lemons I chickened out and used milder and sweeter Meyer lemons
  • 3 large oranges
  • 1 head lettuce I used a spring mix
  • 1/2 tsp chopped mint I used a lot more mint, a big handful at least
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil I used more
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • I threw in a cup of Kalamata olives
  • and a touch of sherry vinegar


  • Peel and section the lemons and oranges. (A sharp serrated grapefruit knife is helpful here)
  • Toss the fruit with the olive oil, mint, salt and pepper
  • Serve over the lettuce
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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  • Reply
    Robyn @ Simply Fresh Dinners
    April 7, 2016 at 5:33 am

    I am loving the wonderfully fresh and simple ingredients of this salad. How deliciously perfect!

  • Reply
    January 8, 2012 at 4:57 am

    This seduces me! Not only it looks great but I”m sure it tastes fantastic!

  • Reply
    January 5, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    I would even use Meyer lemons — they seem less acidic.

  • Reply
    Kitchen Belleicious
    January 4, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    refreshing beautiful and delicious!

  • Reply
    [email protected] German the Rockies
    January 4, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Happy New Year!
    Great minds think alike. I just posted a similar salad. I love your addition of the olives.

  • Reply
    Magnolia Verandah
    January 4, 2012 at 9:14 am

    This sounds perfect especially for the vey hot weather we are experiencing downunder at the moment. Wha a lucky find!

  • Reply
    January 4, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Sounds really interesting. Citrus, olives, and mint sound very intriguing. Looks vibrant and beautiful! Great for the New Year.

  • Reply
    January 3, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    What a great salad, so fresh. I love fresh lemon and lime although I know people usually find them too tart. How lucky to have found such unadulterated cook book. GG

  • Reply
    From Beyond My Kitchen Window
    January 4, 2012 at 12:24 am

    I love anything with citrus in it. Great looking salad.

  • Reply
    Inside a British Mum's Kitchen
    January 3, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    My tastebuds are singing! I LOVE old cookbooks (well almost all cookbooks really) but it is lovely to find something so special.
    Mary x

  • Reply
    January 3, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    I make the same thing without the lemons, but with onions…and the olives. I often serve it at Christmas. But I can imagine that my mother-in-law would have found it very strange in the ’40s. Olive oil….whaaaaatttt????

  • Reply
    January 3, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    Gorgeous looking salad! This is what I am craving now that the holidays are over. Happy New Year!

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