Easy dinner recipes: 3 citrus salads keep it light for Meatless Monday

Bright citrus salad recipes are a perfect dinner option for Meatless Monday

Dinner doesn't get much easier than a basic salad, but why not dress it up with bright, fresh citrus? Slices of sweet tangerines or rich pink grapefruit, or segments of vibrant blood orange, can add just the right tang to a salad, not to mention added texture and bright color.

Beets and blood oranges with mint and orange flower water: "My idea of salad in winter is similar to my take on salad in general," chef Suzanne Goin said. "It's a way of celebrating what's around now. I'm a big fruit-and-vegetable fan, and that becomes the focus for me." She combines roasted beets with sliced blood oranges in a vivid display of color and flavor, tossed with thinly sliced fresh mint and a dressing of blood orange and lemon juices, shallots, red wine vinegar, olive oil and fragrant orange flower water.

Pink grapefruit and fennel salad with crab: Fresh pink grapefruit, arugula, freshly shaved fennel and red onion are tossed in a simple dressing of olive oil, grapefruit juice and red pepper flakes, the salad tossed with Dungeness crab meat in this simple yet rich dinner option. The recipe, from Food editor Russ Parsons, comes together in only 20 minutes.

Tangerine, butter lettuce and goat cheese salad: Sweet tangerine segments are combined with butter lettuce, fresh goat cheese and crunchy toasted hazelnuts in this easy salad that uses only a handful of ingredients and comes together in a mere 30 minutes (and that includes roasting time for the hazelnuts!). You can find the recipe below.

TANGERINE, BUTTER LETTUCE AND GOAT CHEESE SALAD

Total time: 30 minutes / Servings: 4

1/3 cup hazelnuts

2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar

Salt

2 teaspoons minced shallots

3 tablespoons hazelnut oil

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 pound tangerines, peeled, broken into segments and stripped of any pithy strings

1 head butter lettuce, cored and torn into bite-sized pieces (about 4 cups)

3 ounces crumbled goat cheese

1. Toast the hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet in a 400-degree oven until they smell toasty, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately cover with a damp kitchen towel. Let stand 10 minutes, then wrap the hazelnuts in the towel and rub to remove as much of the papery skin as possible. Chop coarsely; you should have about one-fourth cup

2. Meanwhile, combine the vinegar, one-half teaspoon salt and shallots in a small bowl and let stand 10 minutes to let the shallots soften. Whisk in the hazelnut and vegetable oil.

3. Combine the hazelnuts and butter lettuce in a large bowl. Pour over just enough of the dressing to moisten lightly, tossing gently. Season to taste with more salt if necessary. Arrange the lettuce on a platter in a low mound.

4. Add the tangerines to the same work bowl and toss to coat lightly with any vinaigrette remaining in the bowl. Scatter the tangerines over the top of the lettuce. Scatter the crumbled goat cheese over the top and serve immediately.

Each serving: 265 calories; 7 grams protein; 8 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 23 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 16 mg cholesterol; 257 mg sodium; 5 grams sugar.

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