This winter escarole citrus salad is officially the star salad of the season! Featuring a variety of bright citrus like grapefruit, tangerine, and blood orange paired with fennel, radish, and creamy avocado. Lightly dressed with a robust and rich extra virgin olive oil Meyer lemon vinaigrette.
A huge thank you to the sponsors of this post, OXO, and California Olive Ranch. I love working with brands that I genuinely use in my healthy kitchen. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Abra’s Kitchen.
We have to talk about salads, like really talk about salads.
I have been eating a salad a day (or close to it) for as long as I can remember. My dinner table growing up was graced with a giant wooden salad bowl overflowing with yummy greens, every single night. Most nights, the salads were quite simple; greens and an extra virgin olive oil based homemade salad dressing. Some nights the salad was the star, filled with a ton of vegetables and grains (like my mom‘s famous tabbouleh salad which was a family favorite). We didn’t grow up with jarred salad dressing, I didn’t even really understand what jar salad dressing was. Extra virgin olive oil, citrus, or vinegar was all that was needed.
That was my normal. I didn’t know if it was actually “normal”, but I didn’t care. It was just how my family ate every night.
I now crave salad. I need it and want it. If I go a few days without it, I feel weird, like something is off.
If I am traveling and away from my salad routine I literally drool on the trip home thinking about my salad, which is always the first thing I eat, no matter what time of day it is.
Whether you are a salad lover like me or you see salad as a “health food” that is good to have around, I have some thoughts, tips, and tools, that will make your salad making not only easier but superbly better.
Let’s start with this gorgeous winter citrus salad, so you know exactly what you have to look forward to:
- Bright juicy seasonal citrus
- Tender crunchy escarole (my favorite winter green!)
- Rich and fruity California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil paired with acidic and sweet Meyer lemon juice
- Thinly sliced radish and fennel
- Punchy chives
- Lots of creamy avocado
We could probably stop right here; I’m already drooling!
But we will not, as we’ve got some more to do.
How to Make a Mouthwatering, Crave-able Salad
Start with a base of greens. Mix up the kind of greens you use in a salad (oftentimes my salad is greens and greens alone). Escarole, green leaf, red leaf, frisee, radicchio, or kale – there are so many to choose from!
Add seasonal vegetables – In summer it is all about tomatoes and stone fruit, in fall I add roasted squash and cooked grains, in winter, citrus is my jam, and spring begs for asparagus, beets, and berries.
Make a delicious dressing – That salad that was on my dinner table every night growing up was always dressed the same way; extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic powder, dried oregano, and red wine vinegar. In that order. I still make that dressing 90% of the time, my friends have come to love the “Pappa Salad” and really it’s all about good extra virgin olive oil and simple ingredients.
It is really that simple. Good ingredients.
Well, good ingredients and tools that make it even easier to get fresh, healthy, seasonal ingredients on the table quickly.
My favorite salad making tools
- Salad Spinner – My love for a salad spinner runs deep. Like really deep. It is on my list of essential kitchen tools. It is the tool I tell every single client that they need to have in their kitchen. A salad spinner is not only essential for salad making but I wash all of my greens in it so they don’t get soggy; kale, collards, swiss chard, and beet greens. All. Of. My. Greens. I have used an OXO Salad Spinner for as long as I can remember. It is my trusty sidekick that makes eating daily doses of delicious greens easy, and do-able.
- Excellent Extra Virgin Olive Oil – My grandpa taught me one very important lesson – dress your salad greens with olive oil. Good olive oil. Excellent olive oil. This is an ingredient that deserves attention. I was first introduced to California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil a few months ago and I am beyond smitten! California Olive Ranch partners with olive producers in California, Chile, Argentina, and Portugal who share in their sustainable farming practices and high standards. I used their Destination Series Rich & Robust extra virgin olive oil for this recipe and the flavor was extraordinary! You can also try their Destination Series Everyday, and Mild & Buttery.
- Salad Dressing Shaker – I’m sure you’ve caught on by now that I am all about homemade salad dressing. As in, I literally NEVER purchase it from the store. The OXO Salad Dressing Shaker is my new BFF in the salad making world. I have been making extra large batches of dressing and storing them in the fridge in this handy shaker for the next day‘s celebration of greens. I love how OXO is always finding ways to make their tools as user-friendly as possible. The Salad Dressing Shaker has handy measurements on the side, which is genius! Also, the top stays nice and snug so I can vigorously shake and emulsify my olive oil vinaigrette.
In the health food world, there is always a new craze to follow, a new trend (don’t even get me started on celery juice!), or diet that is IT, but there is one simple truth that remains constant – eat more vegetables. We can all agree that adding in more fresh seasonal food is a good thing to do. Pair those fresh vegetables with super high-quality extra virgin olive oil because remember that there are fat-soluble nutrients in greens. This means you should eat greens with fat so your body can absorb those nutrients!
Get started with this beautiful escarole citrus salad with a Meyer lemon vinaigrette. I know you will love it!
Escarole Citrus Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
- 1 head escarole washed and torn into bite size pieces
- 1 medium grapefruit
- 1 medium blood orange
- 1 small tangerine
- 1/2 cup fennel, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup radish, thinly sliced
- 1 small avocado, sliced
- 1 tbsp fresh chives
Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed meyer lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp raw honey
- generous pinch sea salt
- Add all ingredients to OXO Salad Dressing Shaker and shake vigorously.
- Segment Citrus: Begin by slicing a little off of the top and bottom of the citrus fruit. Trim away the skin and the pith, by starting at the top of the fruit and slicing downward following the curve of the fruit. Once all of the skin and pith is removed you can either slice into rounds or segment. To segment: use a paring knife, slip the knife between one of the segments and the connective membrane, cut until you reach the middle of the fruit, scoop the segment out and continue until all segments are released from the connective membrane.
- Arrange escarole on a platter. Top with citrus, fennel, radish, and avocado slices. Drizzle with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette and scatter the top with chopped chives.
- You can use any citrus that you love in this recipe. Grapefruit, blood orange, and tangerine are my favorites, but a simple orange would also be lovely.