I’ve noticed since shopping for produce almost exclusively at the farmers market my attitudes toward fruit have completely changed! A strawberry is so much sweeter, when you’ve been waiting all winter for the first sight of it in Spring, and by the end of Summer I can’t wait for the shift to persimmons. I feel so much more connected to the earth, the seasons and the cycle of life when I’m eating locally and seasonally. See S.O. U. L Foods for more Seasonal and Local eating inspiration! In winter, in California, when we have a bounty of fresh citrus, nothing is more disappointing then a fruit salad, filled with flavorless melon and overly large, and seemingly out of place grapes and berries. Rather, we should use what’s in season to inspire us and enjoy the flavor nature has to offer specifically at this time!
Citrus in season is a brightness that is much needed in the dark days of January and February and carries us through March. The vibrant colors are breathtaking and complement the other oranges of this season, like sweet potato and squash. Rich in Vitamin C, and less likely to be cooked out, (as vitamin c is by many foods since it’s sensitive to heat) citrus fruit supports our immune system during flu season. There are also so many fun varieties they unless you were a very lucky child of foodies, you likely never had in your lunchbox. We’re going beyond navels and mandarins my friends! The deep rich color of blood oranges, will blow your mind, while the tangyness from a tangelo will surely have you going back for more!
This salad is inspired by a dear friend of mine. I arrived at her home for our monthly book club meeting, she had two beautiful and bountiful bowls with varied citrus ready to be peeled and turned into something magical. We caught up while peeling and segmenting citrus, sliced a red onion thin, added a generous glug of Olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. It was the perfect accompaniment to our intimate gathering, talking of love, careers, travels and oh yeah, the book! ;) All I did differently a few days later when recreating was sub in a few different varieties of oranges, (hello tangelos!) and the addition of mint, for extra brightness. Cilantro might also be nice!
I want to thank Twin Girls Organic Farms for growing such beautiful fruit, for me to turn into salad art this year!
I hope you have time to make this salad this citrus season. I promise you’ll come back to it year after year. Consider playing around and seeing what additions you might make to this medley of fruits and veggies to make it your own.
Celebration of Citrus Season Salad with Mint and Red Onion
Serves 4 as a side dish
A mix of 6-8 navel or cara-cara oranges, blood oranges, tangelos, mandarins, or any other varieties you might enjoy! I like a mix for the extra color and flavor they provide
1 small red onion
A generous glug of Olive Oil
A pinch of celtic sea salt, or other sea salt you enjoy
A small handful of mint leaves, the larger ones torn
Segment your oranges in a way that feels fun and natural to you! I like to slice whole circles of the orange, then peel the outer part, and tear the oranges into 2-3 part segments.
Thinly slice your red onion into half moons.
Combine oranges and onion in a bowl.
Add olive oil and salt, top with mint leaves.