The last couple of weeks have been pretty eventful for us. We spent Christmas in Minnesota, a long weekend in Palm Springs, and New Years Eve on the couch with a rented movie. Since then, Avery’s transitioned into a new childcare arrangement, and we’ve ushered in the new year, one in which we’ll add a new member to our family. Throw in some molar teething (all four! at the same time!), a sickness, and a true initiation into Seattle’s rainy season, and yes, we’ll call it an “eventful” start to 2014.
Against the recent crush of change and challenge, I’m so grateful for my trusty old January friend, the grapefruit. For its substantial weight in my hand, and for its glossy, thick rind, and for its brilliant pink flesh, and for its crescent-moon segments that fall away from its pinwheel membrane at the slice of my knife. For the way it crops up at the market every year after the holidays, promising zing and virtue and vibrant color. For the way it drapes over my morning yogurt, for its clean smell of sweet freshness, for its meaty, pucker-y bite.
It’s the little things.
And, really, it’s not just grapefruit. I’m a sucker for all citrus right now. A quickly depleting bowl of clementines has taken up permanent residence on the kitchen counter, and I’m powerless against the siren call of blood oranges. On Sunday, I realized that I had all three on hand, along with an abundance of kale and a nub of pecorino. We were grilling pizzas for dinner that night, and these seemed like the perfect makings of a lovely side salad.
The citrus segments—of varying sizes and shades—were the backbone of the salad. Thin ribbons of kale and a zippy shallot dressing made the salad squarely savory. And florescent chartreuse pistachios provided crunch, while a showering of pecorino delivered salt. Now this is a January addition that I can get behind.
Citrus Salad with Kale, Pistachios & Pecorino
2 red grapefruits
4 blood oranges
4 teaspoons grainy mustard
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium shallot, very thinly sliced
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 cups very thinly shredded kale
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano, plus more for serving
1/2 cup roughly chopped pistachios
Using a sharp knife, cut peel and white pith from grapefruits; discard. Working over a medium-sized bowl, cut between membranes to release segments into bowl. Squeeze the juice from membranes into a small bowl; add any accumulated juices from bowl with segments. Repeat with the blood oranges and clementines.
Measure 6 tablespoons of the accumulated juices into the bottom of a large bowl; discard any remaining juices. Whisk the mustard and oil into the juice. Whisk in the sliced shallots. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the kale, Pecorino and pistachios to the large bowl, on top of the dressing. Toss to combine. Gently fold in the citrus segments.
Top with additional Pecorino and serve.