Why wait for warmer days when you can brighten a dish or two by making good use of the citrus fruit that you have on hand? This lovely Citrus and Olive Salad is a take on the classic Turkish orange-and-onion salad. It’s light, bright, and flavorful, with juicy citrus, briny olives, and salty feta tossed with peppery greens.

Start by supreming your citrus, cutting each segment of the fruit so that all of the pith and peel are removed. If you do this over a bowl, you should have enough juice to make the dressing. The dressing recipe called for 1/4 teaspoon orange blossom water, which I have omitted here because I didn’t have it on hand and I’m guessing you might not either. If your kitchen has this ingredient, or you’d like to buy and try it, certainly go ahead and add it. Similarly, if you don’t want to buy pricier pine nuts, you can omit them or substitute another nut that you like.

I used only olive oil in the dressing and omitted the salt altogether, thinking that the Kalamata olives and feta would make the salad salty enough. You can toss your salad and decide after tasting if you’d like to add more. When salads need salt, I like sprinkling them with just a bit of flaky sea salt after plating because it adds a little texture. To prep your fennel, trim off the dark green stalks and fronds, reserving them for another use. Holding the bulb upright on your cutting board, split it in half to reveal the core. Remove core with the tip of a sharp knife, then turn the bulb on its flat side to thinly slice.

If you only need 2 servings, you can reserve half of the supremed citrus and store it in a covered dish in your refrigerator. Do the same with half of your sliced onion and fennel and half of the dressing. Use only half of the other ingredients (watercress, pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, olives and feta), keeping everything separate, and tomorrow night you will have another round of salads prepped and ready to go. All you’ll need to do is toss and serve.

If you need some inspiration for other meals, April 1 – 7 is Food Waste Prevention week – a great time to take stock of what you have and get creative. Meal plan for the week ahead and make a shopping list, matching your meals to your plans for the week. For example, if you know you will work late on Wednesday, prep so you have something waiting for you in your slow-cooker, or check your freezer now to find something you can heat and eat.

Think about using what you have and not throwing it away, even if it’s a little imperfect. If your baby tomatoes start to shrivel, drizzle them with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper, add a pinch of thyme and roast them. You can put a few cloves of fresh garlic in there, too, and add a few dollops of goat cheese. Now your tomatoes are an appetizer.

If you have fruits or vegetables that you can’t use quickly enough, freeze them. I do this with cherry tomatoes during the summer and recently rescued some baby bell peppers this way.  Wash, dry, and slice your produce, then freeze it in a resealable bag. One night last week, I defrosted my bell peppers just a little in the microwave and added them to a sheet tray with some sliced onions and diced chicken to make sheet pan fajitas. And have you ever tried freezing mixed greens? If you have a bag of salad greens that you can’t finish, pop them into the freezer. You can shake these into smoothies or soup. They work perfectly for this!

Freeze small portions. When I open a can of tomato paste, I freeze it by the tablespoonful on a sheet pan. Once frozen, I store the portions in a jar in my freezer so it’s easy to get just a little when I need it. That big container of dairy-free yogurt is very cost efficient, but you don’t want to waste. Freeze it in an ice cube tray, then transfer frozen portions into a resealable bag. Freeze small portions of leftovers, too. These are perfect for single lunches or dinners.

When I’m trying to use up odds and ends, I think soup, salad, sandwich or sheet pan. Any of these methods will turn what you have into something new. I frequently cut up leftover veggies and add them to my salads – a few spears of roasted asparagus, some diced green beans, a little cubed sweet potato – to add some interest to my greens. If you have leftover ham from Easter you can make split pea soup, ham salad, ham and cheese scones or sandwiches, a ham and broccoli stuffed sweet potato, or a Denver omelette-style ham, cheese, bell pepper and hash brown breakfast casserole. Or, turn those veg into pesto. Anything fresh or frozen works, it just needs to be green.

Give your food the special treatment. Move food that you want to use quickly front and center, or designate a special spot in your fridge or freezer so that it’s easy access and you don’t forget about it. You can find more great tips on foodwastepreventionweek.com so you can get creative using what you have.

Citrus and Olive Salad (Portakal Salatsı)

serves 4


  • 2 Tablespoons orange and grapefruit juice (reserved from supreming citrus for salad)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pinch white pepper, or freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon minced shallot
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


  • 2 oranges
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 2 cups red watercress or baby arugula
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 bulb fennel, cored and thinly sliced
  • 8 Kalamata olives, pitted and thinly sliced
  • kosher salt or flaky sea salt
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta

for dressing:

Supreme citrus by cutting tops and bottoms from oranges and grapefruit, exposing the flesh. Stand fruit cut-side down on a cutting board and remove skin with a sharp knife, slicing from top to bottom all around the fruit to remove it in small strips, making sure to trim away all the white pith. Working over a salad bowl, hold fruit in your hand and carefully cut down along each membrane, letting juice run into the bowl beneath; transfer citrus segments into another small bowl, adding segments as you go; set aside.

Pour reserved citrus juice into a liquid measuring cup or small mason jar with lid, then add vinegar, salt, pepper and shallots and whisk together. Drizzle in canola and olive oils, continuing to whisk, to make a creamy emulsified dressing. Taste and season with more salt if needed. Yields about 1/4 cup dressing.

for salad:

Using same salad bowl, add reserved orange and grapefruit segments, watercress or arugula, onion, fennel, and olives, then toss with about half of the dressing and season with salt, if needed. Arrange on a serving platter or divide among 4 salad plates, then garnish with pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and feta.

-adapted from recipe by José Andrés

Donna Ferguson

Donna Ferguson

I love to cook, garden, and write about all the things in Vancouver and the Northwest that make life so great.

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