July 26, 2023

Ask A Chef: Steven Molnar Of Quetzal Shares His Recipe For A Sweet & Sour Citrus Salad

Recipe: Steven Molnar

Q: I went to Quetzal in Toronto after it earned a Michelin star and loved the Citrus Salad! It was so bright-tasting and refreshing; is it possible to get the recipe so I can recreate it at home?
— Brandom, Toronto

A: Steven recently added the Citrus Salad to the menu at Quetzal to complement all of the robust grilled items. “Citrus is so juicy and full of flavour at this time of year,” he says. Sweet orange segments are contrasted with smoky poblano peppers, crunchy radishes and toasted seeds. “The colors are striking, and it’s a breeze to prepare — your guests will be blown away.”


Charred Poblano Purée (batch)

  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 250 mL olive oil

Pickled Shallots (batch) 

  • 2 shallots
  • 250 mL apple cider vinegar
  • 125 mL water
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Citrus Salad

  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 1 caracara orange
  • 1  blood orange
  • 2  radishes
  • 1 jicama
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Trout roe (optional)

Arugula, to finish



Make Purée And Shallots

1. Deseed poblano peppers and char lightly on barbecue or gas burner.

2. Add peppers to blender with olive oil and purée until emulsified. Set aside.

3. Using mandoline or sharp knife, peel shallots and slice into 4 mm rings.

4. Bring vinegar, water, salt and sugar to a boil. Let cool, then pour liquid over sliced shallots in bowl and refrigerate overnight.

Make Salad & Serve

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Bake sesame and sunflower seeds on separate baking sheets in oven until golden brown, approx. 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

2. Peel oranges, slice each in half, then cut into half-moon slices. Thinly slice radishes, and peel and thinly slice jicama. Place orange slices in bowl and mix in 2 tbsp of poblano purée, 1 tbsp of toasted sesame seeds and salt. Set aside. In another bowl, add radishes and jicama, and cover with lime juice, olive oil and salt, and mix.

3. Layer citrus, radishes and jicama in large bowl. Garnish with pickled shallots, toasted sunflower seeds and trout roe, if using. Season arugula with lime juice and olive oil, and add on top. Enjoy!

Author: Steve Molnar

Rick O'Brien