I don’t know about you, but salads can get a WEE bit boring during our long winter months. A side salad alongside a festive meal lightens things up and adds color to my plate. However, I crave recipes that have more punch and substance to them. Salads with leftover cooked grains, like wild rice sprinkled throughout, not only bulks it up but makes it a little more interesting. It also can make this salad into a lighter meal on its own as opposed to a side.
I also aim to use up produce that is in season. A few of my favorite seasonal winter food items I indulge in are pomegranates, fennel, bitter greens (like radicchio and endive), and citrus. We get so spoiled with all the different citrus available. these days. I grew up with just two options: oranges and grapefruit. Now we can buy Cara Cara oranges, blood oranges, mandarins, and pomelo. I regularly rotate through them all to keep things interesting. So I figured, why not adapt all those things into a composed salad with a mish-mash of jeweled citrus, grilled peppery radicchio, fresh and crisp fennel and wild rice. AND, of course, a sprinkle of bursting red pomegranate seeds.
Serve, as is, as a lighter meal or as a festive side with my suggested sumac citrus vinaigrette or favorite store bought vinaigrette.
Winter Citrus Salad with Wild Rice and Radicchio
- 1-2 cups cooked and cooled wild rice or about 1 cup dry, then cooked
- 1 head radicchio, cut into 8 wedges
- 1 grapefruit
- 2 oranges cara cara is good
- 2 blood oranges
- 1/2 fennel bulb thinly sliced, reserving fennel fronds for garnish
Suggested Vinaigrette: Sumac Citrus
- 2 Tbsp citrus juice of choice
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp ground sumac
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- salt and pepper to taste
- fennel fronds
- 1/2 pomegranate seeds only
For wild rice sub in any other cooked grain you like
For radicchio sub in other butter greens such as endive or even charred kale
- If needed, cook wild rice according to package instructions. Set aside and let cool.
- Preheat hot pan or grill to high and lightly oil. Sear radicchio wedges until charred and just wilted/tender. Set aside on a plate.
- Over a bowl and with a sharp knife, peel citrus and slice into rounds, OR/ segment citrus into wedges. The bowl with catch all leftover juice to use in vinaigrette recipe or drink at another time.
- In a salad bowl or an a platter, layer wild rice with charred radicchio, citrus, and fennel.
- Make vinaigrette by mixing all ingredients together in a bowl. Tasting and adjusting seasonings. Pour over salad.
- Toss gently and garnish with fennel fronds and pomegranate seeds.