In the winter months, tomatoes can be mediocre at best. Citrus fruits, on the other hand, are at their peak and you find varieties available that you cannot find other times in the year. I love using a combination of blood oranges, tangerines and mandarins, but feel free to use varieties that you love and you can get your hands on. A simple dressing of lemon and orange juices blended with olive oil is delicious on this Citrus Salad with Avocado, Mint and Pistachios. But when I'm feeling lazy, I find that a simple drizzle of Tangerine Agrumato (olive oil pressed with tangerines) is all the dressing that's needed.
This salad was adapted from a recipe in Adeena Sussman's Israeli cookbook, Sababa. Serve it with simple roast chicken dish like this Marcella Hazan's Roast Chicken with Lemons or as a side to this wonderful Asparagus, Goat Cheese and Tarragon Tart.
Ingredients for Citrus Salad with Avocado, Mint and Pistachios
Mandarin oranges, sumos, minneolas, blood oranges. All of these shine January through March. Select different varieties for their variations in color and sweetness. I try to include blood oranges at a minimum in this Citrus Salad with Avocado and Pistachio, just because they are so gorgeous. Sumo mandarins, so ugly they are cute with their topknot that resembles a Sumo wrestler, are particularly sweet and delicious. Cured sumac is a magical ingredient of the Lavant that is available in spice shops and online. My favorite is from Burlap and Barrel. If you don't have the sumac, please don't let that stop you from making this delicious salad, which happens to be killer served as a side to simply roasted chicken.
- romaine lettuce
- mandarine oranges (or other varieties)
- blood oranges
- extra virgin olive oil
- cured sumac from Burlap and Barrel
- sea salt
- ground pepper
- mint leaves
See recipe card for quantities.
Top Tip for Making for Citrus Salad with Avocado, Mint and Pistachios
Learn the technique for slicing the citrus fruits. With a very sharp knife, slice off the ends until the pulp is exposed. Slice away the remaining peel and white pith, exposing the flesh without cutting too much of it away. It's easy once you've done it a few times. Then slice the fruit across the middle and remove any pits before plating.
Citrus Salad with Avocado, Mint and Pistachios
- 5 oz romaine lettuce leaves
- 2 mandarin oranges, tangerines or minneolas
- 2 blood oranges
- 2 ripe avocados
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice from approx. 2 lemons
- 2 tablespoon blood orange juice or other type of orange
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon cured sumac
- sea salt to taste
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- 12 mint leaves
- 4 tablespoon shelled, toasted and crushed pistachio nuts salted or unsalted is fine
- sumac to taste
- flaky sea salt to taste
- Make the dressing first (you'll have extra): In a small bowl, mix lemon juice, blood orange juice, olive oil, ¼ teaspoon sumac and salt and pepper to taste.
- Tear romain lettuce leaves into medium size pieces and arrange on a platter.
- With a sharp paring knife, slice the ends off the citrus fruits and then carefully cut off the rest of the rind and pith. Slice the fruits into ¼ inch slices. Arrange over and between the romaine pieces.
- Peel and pit the avocado and slice into ¼ inch half moons. Scatter over salad.
- Scatter mint leaves and pistachio nuts over salad. Drizzle lightly with dressing (you will have leftover dressing) and sprinkle with sumac and flaky sea salt. Serve immediately.