Video tip: How to segment citrus ... with a bonus recipe

Learn how to segment citrus the easy way

I remember the first time I tried to peel the the white membrane off of individual orange slices. I think I was trying to make a salad, and what should have been an easy recipe seemed to take forever. I spent most of an hour painstakingly peeling the membrane off of each slice using a paring knife and my fingers.

It was tragic.

I can chuckle now. Little did I know then that learning to segment, or supreme, an orange isn't hard at all -- and shouldn't take the day. It should take only a few minutes.

I was demonstrating the technique not too long ago, and thought I'd share a look at how it's done. Check out the video above for a quick how-to.

And continue reading below for a great recipe using this handy technique. The recipe, roasted beet salad with citrus, fennel and ricotta salata, showcases the great beets and citrus to be found in the markets right now. Everything comes together in a colorful salad with pure, bright flavor.

Cooking is fun — at least it should be! No matter how long you’ve been in the kitchen, there is always something new to learn, whether it’s a simple twist on an old technique, or a handy tip to save time and energy. In this series of short videos, I demonstrate a variety of kitchen tips, ranging from how to hold a chef’s knife for maximum control to using a spoon to peel fresh ginger. If you have any gadgets, kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment or shoot me an email at noelle.carter@latimes.com.

ROASTED BEET SALAD WITH CITRUS, FENNEL AND RICOTTA SALATA

Total time: 1 hour and 20 minutes / Servings: 4

Note: From David Lentz at the Hungry Cat. While roasting the beets, make the vinaigrette and toss the fennel and onions together.

CITRUS VINAIGRETTE

1 tablespoon finely diced shallots

1/4 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons lime juice

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted and ground

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1. In a bowl, combine the shallots, orange and lime juices and salt and allow to macerate for about 15 minutes.

2. Whisk in the olive oil, then add the fennel seeds and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Set aside. (Makes about two-thirds cup.)

HERB SALAD

1/4 cup small Italian parsley leaves

2 tablespoons 3/4-inch chive pieces

2 tablespoons chervil leaves

2 tablespoons dill sprigs

1. Combine the parsley, chive, chervil and dill, place a slightly dampened paper towel on top and set aside.

Beet salad and assembly

12 small beets (4 each of 3 different colors, if possible)

1 head fennel, very thinly sliced (about 1 cup)

1 red onion, very thinly sliced

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Citrus vinaigrette

1 each tangelo, pomelo, grapefruit and tangerine, cut into segments

1/4 pound ricotta salata

Herb salad

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash and trim the beets. Place the beets of each color in a separate foil packet and roast until the beets are very tender, about 50 minutes. Remove from oven; cool slightly. Peel and cut into wedges, keeping the different colors separate.

2. Toss the sliced fennel and onion with the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper. Arrange on four plates.

3. Toss the beets of each color in separate bowls with a few tablespoons of the citrus vinaigrette. (This will prevent the colors from bleeding onto each other.) Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange the beet wedges (pointing up) on the fennel and onion.

4. Place an assortment of citrus segments around the beets, also pointing up (cut the pomelo segments in half or thirds so that all of the segments are roughly the same size).Thinly slice the cheese into triangles and lay 3 slices on top of each salad.

5. Toss the herb salad with 1 to 2 tablespoons of citrus vinaigrette, salt and pepper. Scatter the dressed herbs on top of the vegetables. Drizzle a little of the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over each salad and serve.

Each serving: 451 calories; 10 grams protein; 43 grams carbohydrates; 8 grams fiber; 30 grams fat; 9 grams saturated fat; 30 mg. cholesterol; 520 mg. sodium.

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