The winter citrus crop yields a bountiful harvest of options this time of year. There are many varieties to choose from at my local farmers market, and those who are willing to try new things will discover some tasty finds.
Think all oranges are the same? Think again! In addition to everyone’s childhood favorite navel, try some red-fleshed blood oranges, and sweet low-acid Cara Caras. Be sure to grab a few Murcott mandrines for good measure while you’re at it. I also found bright yellow Meyer lemons and sweet limes, big juicy pomelos (similar to grapefruit), and even blood limes.
All that fresh juicy inspiration reminded me of a favorite recipe for citrus salad by Bay Area chef Joanne Weir. Her version incorporates thin slices of red onion, which I chose to leave out, but feel free to experiment. This simple, stunningly colorful salad is a great way to showcase the flavorful citrus harvest at its best.
WINTER CITRUS SALAD with fresh mint (serves 6)
*Recipe by Joanne Weir from Kitchen Gypsy; Recipes from a Lifelong Romance with Food
- 1 pink grapefruit
- 1 yellow grapefruit (I used a pomelo)
- 2 Cara Cara oranges (substitute navel oranges if you can’t find them)
- 2 blood oranges
- 2 blood limes
- 2 murcott mandarine oranges
- 1 sweet lime
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped + small leaves for garnish
- course sea salt & fresh ground pepper
Note: Feel free to substitute other types of citrus as available in your area.
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1 tablespoon aged white balsamic vinegar
- 3 teaspoons grated citrus zest
- 2 teaspoons honey
- Grate 1 teaspoon zest from one of the grapefruits, and 2 teaspoons zest from one or more of the oranges. Set aside.
- Use a sharp knife to cut a thin slice off the top and bottom of each fruit. One at a time, stand each fruit upright on a cutting board and trim away the outer peel and inner white pith (which tastes bitter) in strips.
- Cut all fruits crosswise into 1/4″ slices. Remove any seeds.
- Arrange slices artfully on a serving platter, alternating colors. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients. Season with salt and pepper.
- Just before serving, drizzle the dressing lightly over the citrus slices. Garnish with chopped mint and whole mint leaves.