The colors of heirloom lettuce leaves are striking on their own - but add bright segments of citrus like blood oranges or tangerines, and the salad becomes spectacular! To echo the fruit, we've dressed the leaves with the light, vibrant flavor of a simple citrus vinaigrette with a hint of refreshing mint. If you like a bit of crunch in your salads, chopped toasted pecans or hazelnuts are a nice touch.
To make the vinaigrette, place all of the ingredients in a small glass jar and seal tightly. Shake the jar vigorously to combine. Set aside at room temperature. The vinaigrette can be made 3 days ahead of serving and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature and shake vigorously before using.
Place the lettuce and mint leaves in a large bowl and toss to combine. Add half of the vinaigrette and toss to coat the leaves, adding more dressing as desired. Arrange the greens on a platter or divide among 4 plates. Arrange some of the orange and tangerine segments on the greens and drizzle with some of the vinaigrette. Sprinkle with the nuts, if using, and serve immediately.
Cooking tip: To segmenting a citrus fruit (or to "supreme" in culinary vernacular) means releasing the individual segments or sections from the tough, chewy membranes that hold the fruit together.
First, slice off the tops and bottoms of the orange or tangerine. With a small, sharp knife (a serrated knife also works well), cut off the peel, cutting deeply enough that the bitter white pith is removed. This can be done either in a circular motion, moving around the globe of the fruit, or by slicing from the top to the bottom of the fruit, following its contour. Work over a bowl to catch the juice.
Next, insert your knife along one side of a membrane, and slice toward the center of the fruit, keeping the knife as close to the membrane as possible. One side of the segment will now be separated. Turn the blade of the knife so it now faces outward, and slice along the membrane on the other side of this section until the segment is completely freed. Repeat until you’ve finished the fruit.