Make an Ombré Citrus Salad

Make an Ombré Citrus Salad

One easy technique, three kinds of citrus, and 15 minutes: How's that for a spectacular fruit salad?

Photos by Olga Ivanova

Are you a fan of the ombré look, that trendy light-to-dark color shading that’s showing up in everything from hair color to layer cakes? Most variations on the ombré food theme take some serious time (and food coloring) to pull off, but Yummly’s original citrus salad recipe relies on the beauty of nature. It takes only 15 minutes total time, and happens to be vegan and gluten-free.

With the gorgeous selection of citrus fruits in season right now, making our Winter Citrus Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette is almost as easy as swinging by the market for a few different colors of citrus fruits. You’ll want to learn one easy technique to make the prep go quickly, though.

How to cut perfect citrus slices

To create beautiful citrus slices that are all color, no white membrane (aka pith), set a piece of fruit on a cutting board and get out a nice sharp chef’s knife or smaller serrated knife. A good knife is key for fast prep time.

  1. Slice off the tops and bottoms of the fruit to remove the peel and outer white membrane. (If the fruit were a globe, you’d slice off the North Pole and South Pole.)

  2. Now take your knife and cut from “north to south,” following the curve of the fruit, to remove peel and membrane until only the colorful flesh is left. 

  3. Slice the fruit crosswise into rounds. Voilà!

A picture of a plate with blood oranges, pink grapefruit, and Minneola tangelos arranged in color bands

Winter Citrus Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette by Yummly

Varieties of citrus for your ombré fruit salad

While even a single variety of citrus fruit—navel oranges, say—will taste amazing in this fruit salad, you’ll want a mix of colors to pull off the ombré look. And you don’t need to stick to the varieties in the recipe; feel free to mix it up. Here are a few choices, from deep red to pink and orange. They're all loaded with vitamin C.

Blood oranges. With a sweet flavor reminiscent of raspberries, blood oranges get their hue from anthocyanins, the same healthy antioxidant color compound that’s in red cabbage. At the store, you can recognize blood oranges by the blush on the peel. If you have a choice, the Moro variety is crimson inside while Sanguinello tends to be deep orange.

Ruby grapefruits. The name promises the color of Dorothy’s slippers, but these tart-sweet fruits range from deep pink ruby grapefruits to lighter pink grapefruits. Not a fan of the slight bitterness of grapefruit? Look for Cara Cara oranges, instead, an extra-sweet, pink variety.

Minneola tangelos. A cross between a grapefruit and a tangerine, Minneolas are bright orange inside and extra juicy and sweet. You could use regular oranges or tangerines instead. 

What about the vinaigrette?

A very simple dressing of mild-flavored Champagne vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, and fresh tarragon (reminiscent of licorice, in a good way) pulls the flavors of the citrus fruits together. Don’t forget the salt (kosher salt, sea salt, or whatever you have) and freshly ground black pepper. For additional complexity, you could add a touch of minced shallot or red onion. No tarragon? Try a little fresh mint.

Arrange the salad for the ombré look

To create your ombré shading, just set out the citrus on a platter or on plates from darkest to lightest, drizzle with the vinaigrette, and add a few pomegranate seeds. This recipe serves four, but it’s a snap to double if you’re hosting a brunch. For a customizable salad, you could serve add-ons on the side; arugula, avocado, and salted pistachios would all be amazing here.

Ready to make the recipe?

A picture of a citrus salad arranged from dark red to orange, with pomegranate seeds, tarragon leaves, and vinaigrette on top

Winter Citrus Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette by Yummly