Citrus Salad with Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing

Adapted from Food and Wine

Like I said above, salads are generously forgiving. In my version here, I omitted the limes, used a little less dressing, swapped out regular lemon for a Meyer lemon, reduced the amount of maple syrup as I don’t like my salad dressing particularly sweet. Also, as you can see from the pictures, I forgot to add shallot for the photo shoot. Sorry! I prefer to use a mix of Navel, Cara Cara, and blood oranges, but all our local stores had this time around were regular Navel oranges. It looks very pretty with many difference varieties of fruit. Finally, you can chuck grapefruit, swap in tangerines, clementines, or Satsumas. Whatever your heart desires.

I tested the dressing with buttermilk, but it proved to be too runny and flat against the citrus. My favorite, hands down, was crème fraîche. (Yes, I tested the dressing with four different bases.)

6 oranges (I prefer to use a mix of different oranges)
1 red grapefruit
1 large shallot, very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons torn fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon, torn fresh mint leaves
3 tablespoons crème fraîche or full-fat Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon finely grated Meyer lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh Meyer lemon juice
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
Fine sea salt, to taste

1. Using a sharp paring knife, carefully peel the oranges and grapefruit, removing all the bitter white pith. Working over a small bowl to catch the juices fro m the fruit, cut in between the membranes to release the sections (this is called supreming). Cut the grapefruit sections into thirds and leave the orange segments whole. Transfer all the citrus to a serving bowl and add the shallot and fresh herbs. Reserve the citrus juice for another use (see Citrus Vinaigrette recipe below).

2. In another small bowl, whisk together the zest, with the lemon juice, crème fraîche, maple syrup, and poppy seeds. Season the dressing slightly with salt. Pour the dressing over the fruit, toss the salad gently and serve right away. [You can make the dressing the day before and refrigerate. Whisk gently before adding to the citrus.]

Serves 4 to 6


Citrus Vinaigrette

1/4 cup fresh citrus juice (can be a mix of orange, grapefruit, tangerine, etc)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon finely grated citrus zest
Freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, whisk the citrus juice, lemon juice, vinegar, and salt. Let stand for 1 minute, so that the salt dissolves. Whisk in the olive oil, zest, and pepper. Drizzle over salad. Dressing can be made up to 3 days ahead.

Makes about 6 tablespoons of dressing.

© 2023 Olga Massov