This, my friends, is a beautiful tasting winter citrus salad. It’s full of the bright colors and the refreshing taste of liquid sunshine — the combination of blood oranges with pink grapefruit, cara cara and navel oranges, together with sweet red onion, mint, pistachios and my personal favorite – something I have been crushing on all year — roasted pistachio oil (La Tourangelle to be exact) marry oh so beautifully.
And look at it, those colors are gorgeous! How could this not cheer you up a dreary winter day?
Plus the dressing is really fantastic — pistachio oil not only works magic with all those citrus fruits, but in a dressing made from fresh squeezed blood orange juice, together with Japanese rice vinegar and honey, it’s divine. Roasted pistachio oil has a mild nutty flavor that marries beautifully with citrus, and it has an intensity of pistachio flavor that outshines even the nut itself!
As for the rest of the salad, mint is always an obvious choice for me when it comes to fruit salads, but I’m convinced cilantro would taste amazing too. A sprinkle of salty pistachios is a must — they lend such a lovely crunch. I really love this salad – yes, and just can’t stop going on about it!
Cara cara oranges (also called red navel) are one of my favorite winter orange varieties. Sweeter than most oranges (comparable to tangerines), they are completely seedless, and really juicy. Sadly, I was told just this week, while visiting the farmers market, that we can only expect to see them sold for another couple of weeks, end of March if we are lucky. So unless you want to wait until next winter to try this tasty salad, go ahead and use whatever your preferred mix of citrus fruits is – I prefer pink grapefruit with different types of oranges but use what you can get (tangerines are also great) and what you personally like.
To prepare the fruit for this citrus salad, you need to remove the orange peels and the pith (you want the fruit’s exterior to be “white”-free). Everyone has their own method, but I do this by cutting off both ends of the oranges, then I stand them up on the cut side and remove the rest of the peel and pith by cutting away strips by moving the knife down the sides of the orange from top to bottom.
Citrus Salad with Pistachios and Mint
Serves 4, as a side
For the salad:
2 blood oranges
1 cara cara orange
1 navel orange
1 pink grapefruit
1⁄2 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
1/3 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped (25 g)
For the dressing:
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed juice from 1 blood orange
1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar (preferably Japanese)
1/2 teaspoon honey
3 tablespoons pistachio oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1. To slice all of the citrus into rounds, cut the bottom and top off of each citrus fruit. Stand the fruit up on its bottom and slice down the fruit, removing just enough skin to expose the flesh underneath and as much of the pith as possible. Once entirely peeled, turn the citrus on it’s side and slice into round “discs”. Arrange the slices on a platter and scatter the red onion, mint and pistachios on top.
2. Whisk together the orange juice, rice vinegar and honey in small bowl. Gradually whisk in pistachio oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
3. Drizzle the dressing over salad and serve. Enjoy!
TIP: This salad improves in flavor as it sits, making it the perfect brunch addition, so feel free to prepare it ahead of time and let it sit at room temperature for the flavors to mingle.