Citrus Salad with XO Sauce
Citrus Salad with XO Sauce
About this Recipe
This vibrant citrus salad from chef Justin Lee of vegan Chinese restaurant Fat Choy in New York brings the color, cheer, and vitamin C. An easy-to-make vegan XO sauce dresses the juicy citrus and Castelvetrano olives — the combination makes for a savory salad to serve as a mood-boosting snack, appetizer, or alongside other vegetable dishes for a complete meal.
Citrus such as lemons, oranges, and grapefruit are reported to help our mood, relieving anxiety, fatigue, and depression. (Their scent is known to be calming too.) And their vitamin C not only boosts your immune system but assists the body with the absorption of iron. There could be a reason the orange is a symbol of longevity in some cultures: Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties might protect against cell damage, and studies show that the phytochemicals in citrus can help lower cholesterol levels and promote lung health.
- 3 Tbsp (27 g) minced ginger
- 2 Tbsp (12 g) minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp (14 g) thinly sliced scallions
- 1/2 Tbsp fresh citrus zest
- 1 whole dried tianjin chile or chile de arbol (or chile flakes to taste)
- 1 tsp smoked pimenton
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp monosodium glutamate
- 1/3 tsp sugar
- Olive oil to cover
- 2 grapefruits
- 4 oranges
- 3 or 4 Castelvetrano olives, pitted
- 4 scallions
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp olive oil
- Maldon sea salt
- Long pepper, grated with a rasp-style grater, for garnish (optional)
Step 1Make the XO sauce: To a saucepan add the ginger, garlic, scallions, citrus zest, chile, smoked pimenton, salt, monosodium glutamate, and sugar. Add just enough olive oil to cover and heat over low heat until the ginger, garlic, and scallions are dehydrated and crispy, about 1 hour.
Step 2Prepare the salad: Cut the peel and pith away from the fruit of the citrus. Slice the fruit into rounds (or cut the citrus however you'd like). Cut or tear the Castelvetrano olives into bite-size pieces. Cut the scallions into thin slices on the bias.
Step 3Arrange the citrus and olives on each of four plates and dress with lemon juice and XO sauce. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and grated long pepper, and extra olive oil if you're feeling fancy. Garnish with sliced scallions.
Substitutions: Use any citrus you like — blood oranges, Cara Cara oranges, and pomelo would be equally delicious. Even the amount of citrus and olives you use is flexible. For the XO sauce, if you don’t have or are avoiding monosodium glutamate, substitute 1 tsp nutritional yeast.
What to Try It With: Serve this with other salads and vegetables for a meal; try crudités with Kalamata-Feta Spread or Endive with Cucumbers, Onions & Crouton Crumbs. Or add a protein of your choice.
Zero Waste: Save any extra XO sauce for tofu. It’s delicious with salmon, if you eat fish
Justin Lee is chef-owner of Fat Choy in New York