I always have a dilemma in winter when we have beautiful citrus fruit, but the cold weather does not tempt me to make refreshing salads. Today was a lovely warm spring day so was drawn to make one of my favourite salads. It is so simple, but so refreshing.
Serve it as a starter with creamy buffalo mozzarella or as an accompaniment to barbeques chicken or pork. I took it along to friends, who by chance served barbequed pork neck steaks and it was a perfect match.
For the salad I like to use at least 3 citrus fruits, but today I was lucky to have 5 in my fruit bowl. Rosé grapefruit, mandarin, blood orange and lime!
I like to vary the way I slice the fruit, cutting some slices and others in wedges. Whatever method you choose, just ensure that there is no pith or pips.
To cut wedges or slices I always peel away the entire skin, just cutting into the flesh. Cut away the base and top & the sides. Then using a sharp knife cut each wedge on either side of the membrane.
Sometimes I zest some fruit, I then allow the fine threads of zest to dry and sprinkle it on the salad, it looks beautiful if sprinkled onto mozzarella if you are adding it, but today I decided to omit the zest.
Cut the fruit over a plate or bowl to retain as much juice as possible. For the dressing I like using a good quality peppery olive oil and a spoon or two of honey.
When we are in France we buy orange flower extract and I add just a drop of this to the dressing to add depth of flavour. Rose water is easier to find locally, so feel free to add a drop, but just a drop, otherwise the flavour become ‘soapy’!
If I have young fennel in the garden I sometimes add finely sliced fennel bulb to add texture and another flavour component. Yesterday my fennel bulbs were still too immature, but I added the lovely young leaves and then of course, I could not resist a few fine slices of red chilli, but you can omit this.
I store my chillies in a zip lock bag in the freezer, so I always have fresh chillies at hand. Lemon grass and curry leaves are stored in the same way.