By Chef Linda
Some say February is the cruelest month; so close to spring but struggling to free itself from winter's chilly embrace. A salad like this assures us that warm sun and tender, green growth will come again. Citrus fruits can brighten up many dishes but the membrane and pith are bitter. A culinary technique called “supreme-ing” applied here allows these oranges to show off their inner beauty and makes them more enjoyable to eat. To supreme an orange is to cut away the skin, pith, and membranes releasing luscious, jewel-like wedges of sweet fruit. Yes, this technique takes just a little more time than peeling and pulling an orange but the result is well worth the effort. Hearts of palm come from the inner stalks of palm trees planted specifically to harvest for eating and can generally be found in the canned goods aisle of most grocery stores. Tender and slightly tangy, they add a lovely dimension to salads. Chock full of bright flavors, interesting textures, and heart-healthy ingredients, this Simple Winter Citrus Salad is one you'll want to make for people you love.
Simple Winter Citrus Salad
6 cups arugula or baby spinach
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 blood or navel oranges
1 ripe avocado, pitted and diced
1 cup sliced hearts of palm
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
Arrange arugula on a plate or platter. Drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice, and add a good pinch of salt. Toss to coat the greens with dressing. Set aside.
To prepare the oranges, start with a very sharp knife. Cut the top and bottom off an orange. Place an orange flat side down on a cutting board. Following the shape of the orange, cut the peel and pith off all the way around. Either hold the orange in your hand or place it on the cutting board and cut toward the center, inside the membrane. Cut inside the adjacent membrane until the cuts meet and remove the segment. Repeat for all the oranges, placing segments on top of the dressed greens. Hold the empty membranes over the salad and squeeze out the juice, an added bonus!
Arrange avocado, hearts of palm, and pomegranate seeds on top. Enjoy immediately.