My favorite thing about winter in Arizona is the abundance of fresh, local citrus. While winter is technically citrus season everywhere fruit can be shipped, it is truly a local delight here. When Ryan and I moved here and my family came to visit, they gifted us with a kumquat tree, a Meyer lemon tree, and a tangelo tree.
We’ve only gotten a handful of lemons, and this year (for the first time), a single tangelo. But it’s so much fun to watch them grow…and while I’m watching them, I’ll munch on a handful of kumquats. At least one is prolific! And anyway, those trees provide a heck of a lot of lovely green color in our dirt-bottomed backyard. Grass isn’t natural here, friends.
Since my trees are still young, I’m so happy when I can head to the farmer’s market and leave with a basket full of lemons, oranges, blood oranges, grapefruits, kumquats, and whatever wonderfully unusual hybrid our go-to “citrus man” has with him.
I had so many oranges on hand recently that I was inspired to press pause on the citrus smoothies and pumpkin-orange baked oatmeal and make a citrus salad instead. This one is full of kale, fennel, and fresh orange slices. I topped it with a hand-shaken, really simple dressing with orange juice, ginger, maple syrup, and chia seeds for a little extra sticking power. I love the sweet and savory flavors in this salad. Citrus salad is also a classic winter dish, too, and make a great addition to my Christmas table. After Christmas, I’ll keep making them as we transition out of heavier holiday foods we can’t resist while visiting family. This one would be a perfect fresh start dish for after the New Year.
I topped my citrus salad with my southwestern roasted Christmas nuts, but you could use whatever you have on hand. If you’d like to make it nut-free for allergies, pepitas or sunflower seeds would be nice, and pomegranate seeds divine. Those are also in season in winter, and I certainly would have added a handful if I’d had any.
And while oranges were a sweet and flavorful component here, feel free to use grapefruit if that’s more your thing. So yummy. We’re about flexibility here, friends. Who is “we”? I don’t know. It’s been a long week.
Anyway, here’s the recipe. What are your favorite salads in wintertime?
A delicious winter salad with oranges, fennel, and a simple dressing.
- 4 cups kale sliced into ribbons
- 1/2 cup shaved fennel (bulb)
- 2 oranges
- 1 cup chopped nuts
- drizzle of olive oil
- 1/4 cup oranges juice (this was 1 orange for me)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (powdered works too)
- 1/2 teaspoon chia seeds
- 1 pinch black pepper
Place kale ribbons in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Using your hands, "massage" the oil into the kale until it seems evenly coated.
Cut the peel off of the oranges and cut the oranges into thin slices
Toss the oranges, fennel, and chopped nuts with the kale.
Add all dressing ingredients to a small jar and shake. Drizzle over the salad and toss to distribute.