Sunday, January 23, 2011

Citrus Salad with Olive Oil and Marash Red Pepper

It's high citrus season. This is the time of the year oranges, grapefruits and their cousins are at their best. You can really smell them from the outside — scratch and sniff the rind for full effect — and, inside, their fruit is at its most luscious. 

I like to make this salad, which is simply fruit (here grapefruit, blood orange and mandarin), olive oil and Marash red pepper. Which fruit you choose isn't that important. But it's key to peel, segment and seed them, in the process getting rid of as much white pith as possible. Scrape at the pith and get all the stringy bits off. This is quite a pain. Set yourself up with a very sharp knife and some 1950s Calypso music, to make it go easier, for it will take a while. To serve, lay the fruit on the plate, in a colorful jumble, douse it with long pours of rustic, fruity olive oil, then crop dust it with the pepper. Since Marash pepper is already salted you don't need to add any. Leave it to rest for a half an hour to let the flavors mingle and the fruit to warm up.

I stop there, but you could go further, perhaps adding thinly sliced onion, a small handful of capers, a squeeze of fresh lime. 

Backing up a bit, you might want to zest the fragrant peels first and save the zest for pasta or salad dressing.

1 comment:

goaty said...

I like to add a bunch of lime zest to my version, and sometimes a bit of honey. Delightful!