In northern California we are typically blessed in the winter months with the most incredible citrus. In this winter salad I use both Cara Cara and blood oranges along with shaved fennel to create a very balanced salad that--in my humble opinion--is best served after the main course as a pleasing palate cleanser.
-little gems or romaine lettuces
-Best quality extra virgin olive oil
-coarse sea salt
-cara cara oranges, cut into supremes, skin and pith removed
-blood oranges - same treatment
-fennel bulb, thinly shaved with a mandolin
-best quality fresh burrata cheese
Cut all of the lettuces and rinse and spin dry. Place the citrus around the outside of each plate. In a large bowl season the lettuces with a generous amount of coarse sea salt. Hit the lettuces with the Sherry vinegar (this will help break down the salt) and then with the olive oil. Mix the lettuces well by hand. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Plate the lettuces in the middle of the plate with the oranges spread around and garnish with a spoonful of the burrata on top. Finishing with more extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of coarse salt on top of the cheese.
James is a food writer and Bay Area chef who owns and runs a private dinner party and cooking class business specializing in regional Italian and Spanish cuisine. See CookWithJames.com