Some of you are still covered in snow. Here in Texas we are simultaneously basking in and complaining about 80 degree temps. For us, it’s the perfect time to use winter’s seasonal citrus in gorgeous, light salads. It’s only “winter” in that the Rio Grande Valley grapefruits are still piled high and cheap in the grocery store.
This bright citrus and daikon salad with a tart champagne vinaigrette is another creation from Catherine Walther’s Raising the Salad Bar. Like the previous Apple and Pomegranate Salad, which involved seeding a pomegranate, this recipe is a great excuse to learn a new kitchen skill may teach you something — how to suprême citrus fruits.
If you’ve ever had canned mandarin oranges, you know what a supreme of citrus looks like — succulent sections of fruit, free of all bitter pith and membrane, with no toughness to chew through, the juicy fruit presented without distraction. With a sharp knife, it takes only a couple of minutes to supreme any citrus, giving you nice wedges to place atop fish, salads, or alongside eggs at your next brunch.
To supreme any citrus fruit:
1. Remove the round top (stem end) and bottom of the fruit by making horizontal slices.
2. Place the fruit on a newly flat side.
3. Run your knife down the sides to remove the rind and outer white pith.
4. Holding the skinless fruit in one hand, working one section at a time, cut closely along the membranes that radiate out from the center. As you are about to cut a section free, you may need to give your knife a slight twist at the center of the fruit to loosen the section.
5. Squeeze the cut peel and membranes over a small bowl to collect any juices.
You’ll be left with stunningly pretty fruit that bursts in your mouth.
Are you new to daikon? These radishes are long, white, and mild, with only a slight kick of earthy bite. They are normally found in the Asian produce section; look for radishes that are firm and resist bending. If yours come with their leafy green tops, save them for sautéing or roasting like kale until crisp. If you can’t find daikon, substitute jicama.
This salad is sweet, earthy, crisp, and juicy. Serve it on a plate instead of a bowl to show off your new skills — the blushing pink grapefruit supremes will look so lovely next to their vividly orange cousins.
Citrus and Daikon Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette
Rosy pink grapefruit and bright orange supremes tossed with a crisp julienne of daikon radish and a bright, tart, champagne vinaigrette.
Serves 4 to 6
3 navel oranges
1 section (about 3 inches long) daikon radish, peeled and cut into matchsticks
6 to 8 cups lettuce, washed and dried (I used butter lettuce, frisée, and radicchio.)
for the vinaigrette:
1/3 cup leftover juice from oranges and grapefruit
2 Tbs. champagne vinegar
1 tsp. shallot, minced
5 Tbs. olive oil
salt, to taste
Supreme the citrus as described above. Squeeze the peels and membranes over a small bowl to collect excess juice.
For the vinaigrette, mix the reserved juice, vinegar, and shallot in a small bowl. Whisk in the oil and season with salt.
Toss the daikon and lettuce with just enough dressing to coat. Transfer to serving plates and top with citrus sections.