Dive Into Citrus Season Like It’s Your Job
And level up by pairing it with JUSTIN Sauvignon Blanc. It just got awfully sunny in here.
December 15, 2017
By Charlie Hallowell | Illustration by Courtney Moy
We know it’s chilly, but swap your big, bold reds for JUSTIN Sauvignon Blanc this round. It’s crisp, fresh, and reminds us of that delicious winter sun that breaks up the seasonal monotony—just like Chef Charlie Hallowell’s joyous ode to citrus season. (Which, GASP, happens to pair perfectly with Sauvignon Blanc. It’s like we planned that.)
I love citrus salad.
It has always seemed amazing to me that in the dead of winter, which in the Bay Area isn’t actually all that dead, we get citrus — bright, acidic, summery citrus. And there are endless varieties: blood oranges, pomelo, oro blanco, the best navel oranges in the galaxy, and my personal favorites, the Cara Cara.
No matter how cold and rainy it may be, no matter how many days of fog you have slogged through, one bite of a perfect oro blanco and you are filled with sun and a balmy ocean breeze and a solid reminder from Mother Nature that summer isn’t too far away. When I make citrus salads of any kind, I try to use as many different varieties as I can get my hands on. I segment the ones with tough piths, like oro blanco, grapefruit, and pomelo, and I slice the more tender fruits like blood oranges and Cara Cara into wagon wheels (all peeled of course).
This salad is a play on the very traditional Sicilian/southern Italian orange salad that is basically sliced oranges, raw red onion, and very good olive oil, sometimes with black olives, and always with whole parsley leaves. This salad is a staple of wintertime eating in Sicily, and is a perfect balance of sweet, salty, astringent, and earthy. It is a salad I make at least once a week for my kids and we never get tired of it.
I love this alternate version for a few reasons. I think almost everything is better with some avocado on it, plus I think it is crazy that Italians don't use cilantro all over the place. I love the stuff and basically would stuff my mattress with it if it didn't rot so quickly!
Winter Citrus Salad with Avocado, Shaved Fennel, Black Olives, Charmoula & Marash PepperServes 4
1 navel orange, peeled
1 blood orange, peeled
1 oro blanco grapefruit, peeled
2 baby fennel heads, thinly shaved
1 avocado, halved, pitted, thinly sliced
1 cup oil cured olives
½ - 1 cup charmoula
Squeeze of lemon (optional)
1 tsp Marash chile pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
Toasted pistachios (optional)
Cut off the ends of the citrus. Then, using a sharp knife, cut off the peel and pith by tracing the contour of the fruit. For the navel and blood oranges, cut along the equator into ½-inch rounds. For the grapefruit, working over a bowl, cut between the membranes to make segments. Squeeze the extra juice into the bowl, and do as I do: eat the pith in one big bite. You will never need to buy vitamin C pills!
On a large platter, arrange the citrus slices in a beautiful display of glorious color. Add the avocado around and on top, then sprinkle with salt.
In a large bowl, toss the shaved fennel with a pinch of salt and half of the charmoula. Add a squeeze of lemon to enhance the brightness. Sprinkle the fennel all over the orange and avocadoes. If at this point it seems like the salad needs more charmoula, spoon extra around and over the salad.
Sprinkle the olives over the top, balancing the black color with the orange, red, and green of the other ingredients. Top the salad with Marash pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
- For a bit of crunch, I like adding some toasted pistachios.
- For a bright citrus vinaigrette, add the juices from segmenting the citrus with a glug of olive oil, then spoon over the salad before adding the Marash pepper.