Weekend Recipe: Citrus Salad with Arugula, Golden Raisins, and Walnuts

Photo courtesty of America's Test Kitchen
Photo: Courtesy of Cook's Illustrated

This refreshing salad from Cook's Illustrated is a celebration of bright winter fruits.

Savory salads made with oranges and grapefruit are an impressive way to showcase colorful winter fruit but only if you can work with the bitterness of the grapefruit and prevent the fruit’s ample juice from drowning the other components. We started by treating the fruit with salt to counter its bitter notes (a technique we’ve used in the past with coffee and eggplant), but the salt pulled even more juice out of the fruit and onto our platter. Draining the seasoned fruit enabled us to preemptively remove the excess juice, some of which we used in the dressing for the salad greens. Salted nuts added richness that contrasted nicely with the fruit and the assertively flavored greens, and dried fruit added texture and sweetness.

Citrus Salad with Arugula, Golden Raisins, and Walnuts
Serves 4 to 6

2 red grapefruit
3 navel oranges
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped coarse
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 ounces (4 cups) arugula
1/2 cup golden raisins

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You may substitute tangelos or Cara Caras for the navel oranges. Valencia and blood oranges can also be used, but since they are smaller, increase the number of fruit to four.

1. Cut away peel and pith from grapefruits and oranges. Cut each fruit in half from pole to pole, then slice crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick pieces. Transfer fruit to bowl and toss with sugar and ½ teaspoon salt. Set aside for 15 minutes.

2. Melt butter in 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Add walnuts and ½ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned and fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer walnuts to paper towel-lined plate.

3. Drain fruit in colander, reserving 2 tablespoons juice. Transfer fruit to platter, arrange in even layer, and drizzle with oil. Whisk reserved juice, shallot, and mustard in medium bowl. Add arugula, ¼ cup raisins, and ¼ cup reserved walnuts and toss to coat. Arrange arugula mixture over fruit, leaving 1-inch border around edges. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup raisins and remaining 1/4 cup reserved walnuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

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