It’s CITRUS SEASON! Here at Lemons we are so so excited for citrus season. It brings a ton of brightness to our foods – in taste and in presentation – and helps us dream of warmer weather while we’re stuck in this winter tundra. Plus, lemons are a citruis fruit, so it’s almost like a celebration for us…and as I’m sure you can see, we love to celebrate.
I love love love vegetables, and I’m not ashamed of it! So many people think it’s sarcasm, but as my sarcastic/joking skills are not resume worthy, I can assure you it’s the truth. But in the winter time, all I want is BREAD. Anything bread-y. And dense and rich and carb-centric. Another wonderful thing about citrus? It is an amazing compliment to lighter proteins and (almost) all vegetables, and starts to pull us out of our carb-induced hybernation and into the fresh and even raw foods that we enjoy in the spring and summer months. In this case, we’re complimenting sweet citruis and raw honey with sharpness of fresh shallots, and keeping it winter appropriate with the bitterness in the greens and warmth from the thyme.
-fresh juice from 4 small citrus fruits – I used 2 blood oranges and 2 honey tangerines
-2t raw honey
-1 shallot, divided
-2-4T extra virgin olive oil – this just depends on how light you want to make the dressing
-2t dried thyme
-salt and pepper to taste
-winter greens – I used swiss chard
(If you’re making the salad and not only the dressing…) Wash your greens! When choosing your greens for this salad, pick something in season and hearty – for winter, that means dark, leafy, and nutrient PACKED! I chose a mixture of white and red swiss chard. I love the texture of both, and the color and earthy flavor of the red chard – it’s almost beet like. The white chard is much more mild in it’s earthiness, so if you’re not a fan of anything remotely similar to beets, stick with the white. Plus, its a good winter green that is still enjoyable raw! If chard’s not your thing, try kale, escarole, collard greens…anything that looks fresh. Just keep in mind, some greens are best when cooked, and some leafy stems are just not fun to eat (i.e. kale). Not sure what green to use? Ask your produce man, or better yet…ask us!!
I washed, rinsed, and de-stemmed the chard, keeping the stems for later on. Stacking the leaves on top of one another, I tightly rolled them almost like a sleeping bag and cut the chard into ribbons.
Next, juice your citrus. I don’t have any type of citrus juicing tools, and find that a good squeeze works just fine. If your fruit is a little stubborn, try using a fork like a traditional reamer. Remove all seeds using a strainer or fork.
Add the honey, and whisk. I’m LOVING raw honey these days – the texture is almost like gooey table sugar but the taste is sweet and floral.
Next, mince the shallot, and add half to the bowl. Crush the dry thyme in your palm, and add all spices to the bowl, whisk. Finally, add your olive oil, and you guessed it, whisk again. At this point, you can pour the dressing over the greens and mix, or you can store the dressing for use, later. If you are using the dressing in a hearty-greens salad, it’s perfectly OK to make this dish in advance and let it sit in the refridgerator. Winter greens are very strong and will actually benefit from this pseudo marinating technique both in texture and in flavor.
Heat the rest of the shallot in a little olive oil in a sautee pan. Chop the stems of the chard – which will look like celery and rubarb stalks – and sautee in the pan for a few minutes, just to slightly soften and remove some bitey bitterness.
Add the stems to the dressed salad, mix, and enjoy! This would pair wonderfully with roasted chicken, walnuts and cranberries, or heighten the earthiness with beets and goat cheese! How do you eat your greens?? Let us know!!