Citrus Salad With Toasted Almonds and Sliced Onion

Citrus Salad

I love how in the middle of the dark, cold, snowy winter, citrus season is at it’s peak. It’s like the universe is throwing us a bone – or lots of small, sunny, oddly round, and delicious bones to get us through the season. My enthusiasm for citrus is such that I actually put together a citrus tasting and had plans to do a post about the varieties at my local supermarket (it’s pretty impressive actually), but in the hurricane of holiday prep and activity, my tasting notes were lost. I can’t even remember the names of all the fruits, so…sorry.

However, I do remember one very important thing about the grapefruits I tried. Common wisdom dictates that ruby grapefruits are best and least bitter, but not this time!  The Rio Star red grapefruit was less sweet and had thicker, more bitter membranes than the white variety I tried. Maybe it’s just this year’s batch, but if you can get your hands on Indian River white grapefruits, give them a go. Their flavor was more complex, more sweet, and the membranes were thinner with less bitterness than the red and pink varieties I’m used to.

Citrus Salad

So this salad is sort of an offbeat combination, but I’m really into it. If you like your citrus and you like the flavor of onions, you should definitely try them together. This salad is sweet and savory with sharpness from the onion, toasty richness from the roasted almonds, and heat from the copious amounts of black pepper added at the end. It’s complex and sophisticated, but in a totally approachable and delicious way.

Citrus Salad

By way of disclaimer, I should mention that my Iowa farm born-and-raised grandpa was the only person in the house who did not care for this salad. But he also regards things like avocado with suspicion, so make of that what you will.

Citrus Salad

Speaking of avocado, this dish is extra-amazing with a few buttery wedges tucked between the citrus and onion.

Citrus Salad

And is this salad resolution-friendly or what? Downright virtuous. Not to mention pretty. Throw it together this week and tell me what you think.

Citrus Salad

Citrus Salad With Toasted Almonds and Sliced Onion

– 2-5 types of your favorite citrus – I used white grapefruit, red grapefruit, naval oranges, tangerines, and blood oranges. If you have at least one type of orange and one type of grapefruit, you’re set. Plan on 1 to 1 1/2 fruits per person
-about half of a small red onion
-1/4-1/2 cup sliced almonds (depending on how much you like them and how big you’re going with the salad (I added more after taking the photos – couldn’t stand to cover up the ombre!))
-a few sprigs of parsley, chopped
-a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
-salt and plenty of fresh-cracked black pepper

1. Start by toasting your almonds (if they aren’t already) on a baking tray in a 350 degree oven until lightly brown and fragrant (5-10 minutes – keep an eye on it because they can go from toasted to scorched quickly).

2. Peel and slice your citrus into 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick slices. I like to peel them with a knife and remove all of the exterior pith, but if you peel them by hand that’s ok too.

3. Peel and slice red onion as thin as you possibly can. Rings are good, but half-moons work too, or even a tiny tiny dice.

4. Assemble salad by layering your citrus on a large platter, scatter onion slices, parsley, and almonds on top, drizzle with olive oil, and finish with a light sprinkle of salt and lots of pepper.

This salad improves in flavor as it sits, so if you can, prepare it up to a couple of hours before you serve it and let it sit at room temperature for the flavors to mingle. I like to make it before I start making my main course, so it has plenty of time to get good.

  1. OMG! A recipe I can try! I'm so excited!!

    Caitlin — January 6, 2015
    1. HA! Pretty shameful that I don't go plant-based more often. Cheese though, ya know? Anyway, tell me what you think if you get a chance to make it!

      courtney — January 6, 2015
    2. reply
  2. Beautiful! This salad is just what I need to brighten up a drab winter day - so bright and happy looking!

    April @ Girl Gone Gourmet — January 6, 2015
    1. Thanks April! I know right? Those citrus colors are hard to beat.

      courtney — January 6, 2015
    2. reply
  3. Wow, what beautiful color combinations! Just what we need during the winter =)

    Lauren @ A Nerd Cooks — January 7, 2015
    1. Thank you Lauren! I agree - it's like sunshine on a plate :)

      courtney — January 10, 2015
    2. reply
  4. Thanks for including how many oranges/pieces of fruit serve one person. This ombré salad is completely gorgeous. I think I might add a little fennel to the mix, since I have it on hand, and it goes so nicely with citrus.

    Jayme — January 24, 2015
    1. reply
  5. This looks like the painting of a beautiful sunset! Onions and citrus - an unusual combination. I'm curious to try it :-)

    The Steaming Pot — March 18, 2015
    1. Thanks! I agree about the colors here - pretty cool what citrus can do. And it's definitely a weird combo, but I've come to love it. Don't skip the toasted almonds, salt, or pepper - they really help the citrus and onion make sense. Thanks for stopping by!

      courtney — March 18, 2015
    2. reply
  6. […] pretty and seasonal. I’ve done almost the exact same flavor combination before, in a pretty ombre citrus salad without greens, but I feel like I need to remind people that it is a thing: citrus with onions and […]

    Winter Salad with Citrus and Avocado | Sweet Salty Tart — January 22, 2016
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