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Mixed Citrus Salad With Mâche, Fennel and Celery

winter citrus salad

photo by Ray Kachatorian

Winter is the height of citrus season, with an appealing display of oranges, mandarins, tangerines, tangelos, pomelos and more in the best-stocked markets. Use a varied mixture of sweet-tart types for the prettiest, tastiest salad.

Yields: 4 servings

2 ribs celery
2 bunches mâche
2 lb mixed citrus fruits, such as navel oranges, blood oranges, tangerines, mandarins and pomelos
½ fennel bulb, trimmed
8 kumquats
¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted

For the vinaigrette:
Fresh orange juice or as needed
1 Tbsp champagne vinegar
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Cut the celery in half lengthwise. Using a serrated vegetable peeler or a mandoline, shave the celery into thin strips lengthwise down the ribs. Cut the strips in half crosswise and place in a bowl of water. Set aside.

Separate the mâche leaves and transfer to a shallow serving bowl. Working on a plate to capture all the juices, use a serrated knife to cut a thick slice off the top and bottom of each citrus fruit. Working with one fruit at a time, stand it upright and, following the contour of the fruit, carefully slice downward to remove the peel, pith and membrane. Set the fruit on its side and cut crosswise into slices about ⅜-inch thick, discarding any seeds. Transfer the slices to the bowl with the mâche, reserving the juices for the vinaigrette.

Cut the fennel lengthwise in half. Using a mandoline or a sharp knife, cut the fennel crosswise into very thin slices and tuck among the citrus slices. Drain the celery and distribute evenly over the salad. Using the serrated knife, cut each kumquat crosswise into very thin slices, discarding any seeds. Scatter the kumquat slices evenly over the salad, then sprinkle the almonds over the top.

To make the vinaigrette, pour the reserved citrus juices into a measuring cup. Add enough additional orange juice to measure ½ cup then add the vinegar. Whisking constantly, slowly add the olive oil and whisk until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad, toss gently to coat, and serve.

From Cooking in Season: 100 Recipes for Eating Fresh, by Brigit Binns