Mixed Citrus Salad
Clementines, pink grapefruit, and other citrus can be substituted for any of the three basic fruits, or added to them. For serving the salad, choose either a salad bowl or a soup bowl. Large scallop shells are available in gourmet stores, and they too make for a good service. Another attractive option is ceramic bowls shaped as citrus, a half grapefruit, for example. A fresh flower on the side of the bowl adds a festive touch. If the fruit is covered and chilled in the refrigerator until just before serving it maintains its fresh appearance and textures.
3 oranges, peeled, seeded and divided into segments
3 grapefruit, peeled, seeded, and divided into segments
3 tangerines, peeled, seeded, and divided into segments
Dressing of your choice (see below)
- Place the sections in a small, shallow bowl, and move them around so they look arranged and not just dumped in the bowl.
- Serve with any of the dressings in the following section poured over as indicated.
Variations: Add other fruits, among them sliced bananas, cubed cantaloupe, sliced strawberries, seedless grapes cut in half, sliced peaches, sliced plums (red or black), pitted cherries (red or yellow), chunks of pineapple, and diced apple if a crunch is desired. Other classic options include mint leaves, watercress, dill, slivered nuts, cubed dates and shaved coconut.
Thoughts for Dressings (recipes follow)
Dressings for citrus salads should contain fats for their mouth feel, flavor, texture, contrast and familiarity. They set out nice contrasts with the crisp flavors of the citrus. A Mediterranean approach, for example, uses olive oil as its fat, for either sweet or salty dressings. The basic recipe combines 1/2 cup olive oil with 1/4 cup lemon juice, with variations from there, seemingly without gustatory limit.
Here are some of these variations added to the olive oil/lemon base. The oil choice need not be limited to olive oil; walnut oil, for example, adds a terrific nutty flavor to the citrus, and other oils do too, such as avocado and macadamia nut oil. The trick is to figure out whether the citrus is sweet or tart, and then to use oil that contrasts with it.
• Add 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, 2 teaspoons sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt.
• Add 3 tablespoons sherry, brandy or ouzo; 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, and1/4 teaspoon cracked pepper
• Add two pinches of dry powdered mustard. It adds a nice bite, which contrasts well with the sweetness.
• Add 1 tablespoon of finely grated zest from an orange or lemon.
• Add 2 tablespoons of either a sweet liqueur (orange or cherry, for example) or something a bit more adventurous (ouzo, rum, limoncello).