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Winter Citrus Salad

Posted Jan 15 2013 7:17pm
I know this salad is a bit of a tease of what's to come in five or so months. While we are currently sloshing around in our Hunters and shoveling snow, it's hard to imagine sun, warm weather, flowers, green grass, patio parties, wine sipping on the beach, and bike rides. Nowadays, I can't help but spend at least 10 minutes of my day wishing I were on the beach somewhere exotic. On the really dreary days, it doesn't even need to be exotic, Golden Gardens will do the trick. Really, I thought it best to change things up a bit - for our sanity. I know I'm a little sick of stews, soups, casseroles, and all of those hearty comforting winter dishes. It's not like I've been doing a whole lot of activity the past few months to warrant all of the calories. I miss the months where everyone is being active and eating healthy - salads, berries, watermelon. Yesterday I looked in the mirror, and could barely recognize my pasty white face. It doesn't help that I'm growing out my pixie cut, and I have an unruly mullet happening right now.  Although, on a positive note, pale white skin and red lipstick totally works. And if I pin my mullet back, with a few strands hanging in the front, I can get away with it. So I tell myself.

Every time I step foot in the produce aisle, I'm dreaming that I'll spot some summer berries or melons. And each time I step in the produce aisle, all that's really there, are apples, bananas, and oranges. Don't get me wrong, I've love apples. But I loved them a whole lot more 4 months ago, when I was baking pies and strudels like it was my full time job. And don't even get me started on bananas. I love bananas - real wild bananas. The tiny fat ones with seeds, the ones that grow in the jungle. Not the cultivated Cavendish bananas. I think I've just hit my winter slump - and you are here to witness it - I feel so ashamed. It's a good thing we have all this left over citrus juice to make mimosas, because that's a sure-fire way to survive the winter doldrums.  
So while I was feeling sorry for myself, I also stumbled upon a citrus gold mine. The Central Co-op does a phenomenal job at wowing me with what's available during the season. They receive the most delightful produce, and at this time of year, a wide variety of citrus, and of course yellow chanterelles - still confused where they get them. My fridge is now stocked with a pretty array of red, orange and yellow, a few cans of beer, and a half bottle of wine (I really need to do a shop tonight). I thought it pertinent for my own health and sanity to make the citrus into a beautiful winter salad. One that reminds us of what's to come, while also accepting what is. I ate this salad on the patio with a glass of wine. My fingers froze a little, but my heart warmed a little more - probably from the wine. It always has that effect on me. 
WINTER CITRUS SALAD RECIPE (print) 
serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side
notes: the measurements listed below are rough estimates, based on my personal preferences. You can increase and or decrease the amounts of arugula, lettuce, citrus, onion, and goat cheese based on your own tastes. I've used a variety of citrus; oranges, grapefruit, and satsumas for this salad. It is a perfect time of year when citrus is abundant. 

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 cups chopped citrus, skins removed
4 cups arugula
4 - 5 red leaf lettuce leaves, torn into bite-size pieces
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
2 oz soft goat cheese, crumbled
salt and pepper to taste

DRESSING INGREDIENTS
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 lemon, squeezed
1 lime, squeezed

Peel the citrus fruit. Break the fruit into segments, and then with a small pairing knife, cut the flesh from its skin. Remove any seeds.

Wash the arugula and lettuce, and pat dry. In a large bowl, combine the arugula and leaf lettuce.

In a small container, add the olive oil, brown sugar, lemon, and lime. Shake.

Pour over the salad and then season with salt and pepper. Gently toss

Layer the onions, chopped citrus, and then sprinkle with goat cheese. Serve.

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