Though it might be weird to realize that oranges, a fruit with undeniable summer vibes, are actually in season during the winter, it totally makes sense. We’re most in need of vitamin C when the weather is at its coldest and flu season is in full force. And something bright and colorful is exactly what you want when it’s gray outside.
That’s why we love using all kinds of citrus fruits to make salads feel more exciting—you might even consider them a nice, refreshing break from all the hearty, warming stews and bakes you’ve likely been enjoying the past few months. These seven recipes will help you make the most of in-season oranges, grapefruits, and more.
The citrus: Grapefruit, cara cara or navel oranges, blood oranges, tangerines, kumquats
Why you’ll love it: Winter and summer flavors mingle perfectly in this nutty, floral number from Bojon Gourmet. Medjool dates, walnuts, and cinnamon add warmth and depth, while rosewater, mint, and the citrus brighten everything up.
The secret ingredient: Breadcrumbs
Why you’ll love it: If you’ve found yourself in a bit of a kale salad rut, this recipe from Minimalist Baker will be just the thing to get you out of it. For one, breadcrumbs in salad is a very exciting idea. The creaminess of the tahini keeps the kumquat from being too sour.
Standout ingredients: Pepitas, dried tart cherries, and shallots
Why you’ll love it: This salad from Brooklyn Supper is hearty enough to eat as a meal all on its own, a rare feat for usually light citrus salads. A blood orange, shallot, and Dijon mustard vinaigrette bring all the disparate flavors harmoniously together. Pro tip: Throw an egg on top if you really want to treat yourself.
Enjoy with: Some firm, white fish or barbecued meat.
Why you’ll love it: With all those sweet ingredients, this salad from Stuck in the Kitchen basically tastes like candy (okay, maybe not totally, but you get the point). It’s great served alongside hearty fare, where its brightness will be a welcome counterpoint to savory dishes.
The dressing: Fennel seed–orange blossom vinaigrette
Why you’ll love it: Though it looks simple at first glance, this salad from Gourmande in the Kitchen has layers of complexity. Prepare yourself for a uniquely herbaceous and floral vinaigrette, as well as buttery Castelvetrano and briny, salt-cured black olives.
The prep trick: Layering instead of tossing the salad
Why you’ll love it: The beauty behind this salad from Eye Swoon is that the ingredients are layered evenly so that you’re able to get all the flavors in each bite. Starting from the bottom with a layer of blood oranges, navel oranges, and tangerines, it works its way up with thinly sliced shallots, cheese, and hand-torn olives. The final product is as stunning as it is delicious.
Standout ingredients: Avocado, sliced green onions, and jalapeño
Why you’ll love it: This satisfying salad from My Diary of Us is also extremely spicy, which might be exactly what you want when it’s below freezing outside. And if you close your eyes hard enough, all the avocado, seafood, and peppers may make you feel like you’re somewhere warmer.