Recipe: Herbed Citrus Salad with Tahini Dressing and Greens

(Image credit: Elizabeth Stark)

If summer is a season full of discovery, color, and unexpected flavors, winter can feel like a parade of nearly identical gnarled roots and fibrous greens. To combat culinary monotony, I rely on two strategies: Buy all the citrus, and splurge on fresh herbs.

(Image credit: Elizabeth Stark)

From grapefruit to mandarins, a vivid tropical fruit is soul-soothing. As for the herbs, I find they’re a nice way to play up otherwise repetitive flavors and make cold weather recipes sing.

This salad is deceptively simple. A mix of ruby red grapefruit and Cara Cara and mandarin oranges is the centerpiece, but the complex flavors come from tossing the fruit with fresh tarragon, parsley, and spring mix dressed in an irresistibly smoky tahini dressing. Citrus and herbs: the remedy for winter boredom.

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Herbed Citrus Salad with Tahini Dressing and Greens



For the tahini dressing:

  • 1

    large shallot, minced

  • Finely grated zest of 1 tangerine, plus 1/4 cup of the juice

  • 1 tablespoon

    freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon


  • 1/4 teaspoon

    fine salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    chili powder

  • 3 tablespoons


  • Water, as needed

For the salad:

  • 1

    ruby red grapefruit

  • 1

    Cara Cara orange

  • 1

    mandarin orange

  • 2 tablespoons

    fresh tarragon leaves, minced

  • 1 tablespoon

    fresh parsley leaves, minced

  • 4 cups

    spring mix or baby lettuce

  • 1/4 cup

    pomegranate arils (optional)

  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Make the dressing: Place the shallot, tangerine zest and juice, lemon juice, honey, salt, and chili powder in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes to give shallots time to marinate. Whisk in the tahini until mixture is emulsified. If dressing is too thick, add a drizzle of water to thin.

  2. Make the salad: To prep the citrus, trim the top and bottom from each piece of fruit. Then, with downward strokes, cut remaining peel off in strips, removing peel and white pith and revealing the citrus flesh. Cut off any remaining pith. Slice citrus crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds. Sprinkle the tarragon and parsley over both sides of the citrus rounds.

  3. Place the greens in a medium bowl. Drizzle in a few tablespoons dressing and toss. Arrange the greens on a platter or plate and top with the citrus rounds. Finish with another drizzle of tahini dressing, sprinkle with the pomegranate arils if using, and finish with a few twists of freshly ground pepper.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: This salad is best eaten fresh, but the citrus can be sliced and the dressing can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored separately in the refrigerator.