I love salad. What makes a great salad? Fresh, crisp produce. What makes a salad extraordinary? Balance and surprise. As in a stunning salad made from four citrus fruits, hearty endives and colorful chicories.
This recipe by JeanMarie Brownson originally appeared in The Chicago Tribune.
Classic all-purpose vinaigrette
Prep: 5 minutes
Makes: a generous ½ cup
Change the types of oil, vinegar and mustard for flavor variations. Use the agave syrup for a hint of sweetness.
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons mild-tasting oil, such as safflower oil, or bold-flavored oil, such as walnut oil, hazelnut oil
3 tablespoons delicious vinegar, such as Banyuls wine vinegar, red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon agave syrup or ¼ teaspoon sugar, optional
¼ teaspoon grated lemon rind, optional
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Put oils, vinegar, mustard and salt into a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well. Add pepper and mix again. Refrigerate covered up to 2 weeks. Use at room temperature.
- 1/4 Cup classic all-purpose vinaigrette (see note) made with walnut oil and Meyer lemon zest
- 1 Oro blanco grapefruit or pomelo
- 2 blood oranges
- 1 Satsuma mandarin or 2 clementines, peeled, sectioned, each section cut into thirds
- 1 large ripe avocado, halved, pitted, diced
- 1 large head or 2 small heads Belgian endive, ends trimmed
- 1/2 small head red radicchio, thinly sliced
- 2 Cups torn small leaves of escarole or curly endive
- 2 Ounces ricotta salata (or pecorino Romano)
- 1/4 Cup roasted and salted pistachio nuts
- Freshly ground black pepper
Step 1: Make the vinaigrette.
Step 2: Peel 1 grapefruit with a knife as follows: Slice the ends off. Put the grapefruit on the cutting board cut side down. Use a large knife to cut away all the rind and white pith, curving the knife with the curve of the fruit. Then use the knife to slice the grapefruit horizontally into ¼-inch thick slices. Do the same with the 2 blood oranges.
Step 3: Arrange the grapefruit and blood orange slices in alternate colors in a ring on a large serving platter. Sprinkle with mandarin segment pieces and then 1 diced avocado.
Step 4: Cut the endive in halve lengthwise, then cut crosswise into ½-inch-wide slices. Put into a large bowl with 1/2 small radicchio head and 2 cups escarole. Add 2-3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette and toss to mix. Drizzle remaining 1-2 tablespoons vinaigrette over the citrus.
Step 5: Arrange the dressed lettuces in the center of the citrus. Use a vegetable peeler to shave the ricotta over the whole plate. Sprinkle with nuts and pepper. Serve immediately.