We’re still in the heart of citrus season, and there are many delicious options to choose from. Make a habit of asking your grower or market’s produce manager which is best at the moment. I’ve given you an instruction on properly peeling and segmenting citrus fruits at the front of this recipe; remember to have fun and keep practicing. Two very different salad ideas here; serve the simple salad any time of the day, and serve the elevated salad as an impressive side dish for supper.
For Simple Citrus Salad:
Fine sugar or honey
For Elevated Citrus Salad:
1 small shallot (optional)
Balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
Sea salt and black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
1 avocado (ripe, but firm)
Other optional additions: green grapes, fennel, beet, carrot, lettuce greens or arugula, and/or smoked salmon
Instruction: Learn to Peel and Segment Citrus
Using a small sharp or serrated knife, cut a slice off the top and bottom of the fruit through to the flesh. Now, working from top to bottom, following the curve of the fruit, cut away a strip of skin and the white pith beneath it; continue this around the entire fruit. Now, hold the fruit firmly in your hand over a bowl, noticing the white edges of the membranes separating the sections. Slide your knife down one side of a segment, as close to the membrane as you can, cutting it from the skin, and then do the same on the opposite side the section, meeting at the bottom. Pull, or slide out the section into your bowl and repeat with the other segments. Set aside the membranes of your fruit; you’ll be using them soon.
Way 1: Simple Citrus Salad
Following the instructions for peeling and segmenting above, do so with 2 oranges and 2 grapefruit, reserving the membranes of the fruit. Squeeze the membranes with their juice over the segmented fruit in your bowl. Gently stir in 1 tablespoon of fine sugar or honey and 1-2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh mint. Voila!
Way 2: Elevated Citrus Salad
This salad entails an orange vinaigrette, and so let’s make that first. In a small bowl, or jam jar (where you can simple shake the ingredients together), mix 1 teaspoon zest and the juice of 1 orange, 1 minced small shallot (optional), 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar),1 teaspoon of honey, a good pinch of sea salt and twist of black pepper, and 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Set aside. Taste for seasoning.
Following the instructions for peeling and segmenting in the instruction, and do so with 2 oranges and 2 grapefruit; simply drink the squeezed juice from the reserved membranes. Slice 1 avocado (ripe, but firm) into the bowl with the citrus segments and add 1-2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh mint. At this point you can include other additions, such as: green grapes, sliced fennel (plus fronds), beet and/or carrot (matchsticks), if you like. And you can also serve this salad on crunchy lettuce greens or arugula; in any case, drizzle the orange vinaigrette over it all. One unexpected, but fitting, addition to this salad is smoked salmon; that addition would certainly make for a more interesting and substantial salad.