It is citrus season and I love it! There is nothing better than a juicy orange on a winter day. It just makes you feel happy and hopeful that spring is around the corner. We always have tons of oranges, grapefruits, lemons in the fridge but especially in the winter months. In fact, I was at the grocery store this morning and came home with about 15 oranges and grapefruits so I better get cooking or peeling.
This Citrus Salad with Fennel and Avocado is a classic restaurant salad probably because it is delicious but also because it is really easy to put together and in a restaurant they can charge about $18 and get away with it. So, why not make this at home and save money and have it all the time?!
If you are not familiar with fennel you need to get to know it. It is a delicious vegetable and that goes in so many dishes and can also be eaten raw. I used to hate fennel, but we had a friend come to our house who was a Culinary Institute Chef and he prepared the most simple and amazing fennel salad and ever since I have been hooked. It has a bit of a licorice flavor, but if you marinate it in citrus (lemon or grapefruit) it mellows that flavor and brings out the crisp, fresh taste.
This salad has the crisp fennel, tart/sweet grapefruit, creamy avocado and crunchy salad greens. It is perfect to cheer you up on a cold day and make you think about the warm, sunny weather coming in the next couple months. Pair this with fish, scallops, chicken and a cold glass of white wine!
Citrus Salad with Fennel and Avocado
A crunchy, crisp salad for a gloomy winter days.
- 2 Tablespoons Champagne vinegar
- zest of 1/2 of a grapefruit
- 2 Tablespoons fresh grapefruit juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 walnut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 4oz box of greens (mache, arugula, spring mix)
- 1 small fennel bulb, sliced thin
- 1 avocado, peeled and sliced
- 2 ruby red grapefruits, segmented
Using a sharp paring knife peel the grapefruit and cut away the segments. Once all the segments are removed squeeze the juice into a bowl and use in the dressing.
In a jar with a lid combine vinegar, grapefruit zest, grapefruit juice, shallot, mustard, oil and salt. Shake well until emulsified. Set aside
Cut off the feathery fronds of the fennel and discard. Trim off the base and any discolored outer layers. Using a mandoline or a very sharp knife cut the bulb crosswise into very thin slices.
In a large bowl combine lettuce, grapefruit segments, fennel slices, avocado slices and toss with dressing.
If you do not want to segment the grapefruit yourself you can buy grapefruit segments at the grocery store in the produce section.
If cannot find or do not want to use walnut oil you can substitute grape seen oil.