When I first moved to the Pacific North West, I had no concept of what a dark, long winter was. I grew up in a state that was perpetually warm/hot/on fire, and that had an abundance of fresh produce. As you can imagine, my first full Seattle winter was a bit of a shock. It also was also one of the darkest fall/winter seasons on record. When I started to experience real seasons, I began to pay closer attention to what foods were actually in season. Fast forward to this year- I’m back up in Anchorage Alaska and the winters here are even darker.
Coming off the heals of the holidays, where I typically would have baked hundreds of cookies, a few pies, and who knows what else (except obviously not this year due to covid, when I baked exactly 12 cookies on Christmas Eve), I’m usually very eager to start the year off with some lighter fare. In fact, It often surprises people to know that that’s often what I crave. Fresh, bright, vegetables. I have always been that way, even as a kid.
Post winter solstice, the sun slowly creeps back. minute by minute, offering a little hope; and where the sun lacks, citrus season picks up the slack. The personal beginning for me is when I am able to find Meyer Lemons on the shelves. Not the sad, forced ripened ones, but the beautifully thin-skinned ones that are perfectly in season. Then there are the various oranges and grapefruits. I just can’t get enough. This year I decided to pair some of my favorite winter fruits with a variety of bitter winter greens to make up a bright citrus salad with a Meyer lemon dressing. While this recipe lists specific citrus, feel free to omit or add based on your personal preferences, and of course, choosing what’s most in season and available near you.
Winter Citrus Salad with a Meyer Lemon Dressing
- 1 large Red grapefruit segmented
- 2 medium Cara Cara oranges segmented
- 1 medium Naval orange segmented
- 1 medium Minneola Tangelo segmented
- 4-5 Radicchio leaves Torn
- 2 cups mixed greens (spinach, arugula, etc.)
- 1 bulb fennel thinly sliced
- 1 medium avocado cubed
- 1/2 small red onion sliced thinly
- 1 bunch mint leaves
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds or pinenuts
- flaky sea salt
- fresh cracked pepper
Meyer Lemon dressing
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon zest meyer lemons
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp shallots diced and soaked in cold water
- salt to taste
Meyer Lemon Dressing
- Finely dice the shallot and soak in cold water for 15-20 minutes.
- Combine the olive oil, dijon mustard, lemon zest, and juice, shallots, and salt in a small bowl, to in a small jar with a lid and mix/shake to combine. Refrigerate until you're ready to serve the salad, it will separate, so give it a good mix before servering.
- Thoroughly rinse all greens, and pat dry.
- Soak the sliced red onion for about 15-20 minutes in cold water.
- Segment all citrus slices by using a chef knife to remove the peel and pith. Go in and slice out each individual segment, leaving the connecting parts behind.
- Layer a large serving plate with the greens, fennel, red onion, citrus segments, seeds, mint leaves, radicchio leaves, avocado cubes. Crack fresh pepper and sprinkle flaked salt over the salad, and drizzle with dressing. Serve immediately.