The sweet and spicy dressing makes the flavors of this salad sing. It's spiced up with chili powder and ground cumin, then mellowed down with honey, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. I could eat this salad all year round, but it seems just right for now, when the citrus is plentiful and the tomatoes are scarce. Who needs a fresh tomato to make a great salad?
Use leftover cumin chili dressing later in the week to liven up a turkey sandwich with avocado slices and bitter greens. It will keep for weeks in the back of the refrigerator, ready for many variations of this impromptu winter salad.
Winter Salad with a Cumin Chili Dressing
For the salad:
- Mixed greens: butter lettuce, baby romaine, spring greens, watercress, radicchio torn into bite sized pieces
- 1/2 medium red onion, sliced very thin, and soaked in cold water
- 1 grapefruit or orange
- 1 fennel bulb
- Wash the greens and dry in a salad spinner, or with a kitchen towel.
- Slice the onion very thin, and set aside to soak in a bowl of cold water.
- Cut the stem ends off the grapefruit or orange, then cut off the peel (see photo below). Slice as thinly as you can with a sharp knife (my mandoline doesn't seem to work for this).
- Cut the green stem from the fennel bulb, and set aside the fennel fronds. Slice the bulb in half, then into quarters. Remove the core. Cut the fennel bulb into very thin slices.
For the dressing:
- 6 Tbsp. olive oil
- 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar, or red wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp. honey
- 3/4 tsp. ground cumin
- 3/4 tsp. chili powder
- generous pinch of salt
- juice from the citrus rinds
- Measure olive oil, vinegar, honey, cumin and chili powder into a jam jar.
- Add a generous pinch of sea salt.
- Squeeze the rinds from the cut-up orange or grapefruit into the dressing.
- Shake well.
- Place the greens in a bowl or onto a platter.
- Scatter the fennel and red onion slices over.
- Place the sliced citrus on top, and garnish with fennel fronds.
- Toss with the cumin chili dressing at the table.