I always turned greedily through the pages of each new December issue of Gourmet, daydreaming of creamed butter and sugar, cinnamon and cloves, gingerbread and festive dinner tables. It's a month of decadence, of champagne and crispy latkes with homemade applesauce, of my mother's cioppino and Oregon pinot noir, of braised brisket or short ribs or fancy roasts. Gourmet had menus for all sorts of festive occasions.
But in December I also start needing something fresh and light for the days between holiday parties. Gourmet was there for us then, too, with recipes like this delicious salad of bitter greens and bright citrus. I ate a plateful the other night, and immediately wanted it again the next night. The dressing is rich and just sweet enough to balance the slightly bitter greens. It's a vitamin-C powerhouse meal, though I fattened it up a bit with some avocado (and some bread with goat cheese on the side.)
I wasn't able to track down the gorgeous blood oranges shown in the recipe for this salad, so I used a sliced tangerine along with a pomelo. I'd never actually eaten a pomelo before, and now I'm a huge fan: they taste a bit like grapefruit infused with honey.
The original recipe is here, from Gourmet's December 2008 issue.
The addition of the pomelo and avocado were a success, and I wouldn't worry too much about perfectly removing the fruit segments from the membrane.
Here's wishing all of you a happy and healthy holiday season.