Winter citrus is out in the stores giving us warm bursts of flavor on cold and blustery days! This winter citrus salad features pale navel oranges, deep orange cara caras, and dark red blood oranges. Next time you’re out, pick up a variety of oranges, a couple of avocados, and a package of mixed greens because it’s time to make some salad!
Recently, when I was at the supermarket, I saw they had bags of blood oranges. Score! I snagged a bag without another thought. Then I walked by the rest of the citrus display and saw cara cara oranges. Awesome! I needed a few of those as well. I wasn’t sure what I was going to make, but I knew I needed them.
And I knew that, even if I didn’t come up with a new recipe, I had all sorts of citrus recipes already. Recipes like a Blood Orange Bourbon Smash or a Cara Cara Bundt Cake or Cod with Cara Cara Salsa. All great recipes! But, of course I was going to come up with something new. 🙂 That’s my job!
Which meant the only question was – sweet or savory? Hmmm. Since I recently developed some Meyer Lemon Muffins (another great winter citrus) and I’ve been playing with my new donut pans and I’ve been working on a Valentine’s treat, I’m a bit sugared out. So, savory it was!
When I’m thinking about recipes and trying to decide what to make, I often flip through my old papers and notes of recipes and meals long past and see if anything strikes my fancy or inspires me. This time I came across an old note about a blender made citrus vinaigrette, which was a perfect! I’d make a sliced citrus salad over mixed greens with a dressing that used a whole orange (minus the rind) to give the most citrus-y punch possible.
Once I had the dressing and concept of the recipe figured out, I needed to fill in the details. Specifically, the crunchy and creamy details! These are important details in a salad since they are the difference between a good salad and a great salad.
For the crunchy part of the salad, I chose nuts and I went with sliced almonds since I thought they would work most harmoniously with the sliced oranges. They provide just enough crunch without being too much.
And, for the creamy part of the salad, I considered cheese, but I happened to have some perfectly ripe avocados in my fridge, so avocados it was! As soon as I sliced one up, tossed with the rest of ingredients, and drizzled on some dressing, I knew I had a winner. 🙂
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
Tip: Ripen avocados on the counter and then move them to the refrigerator once they are fully ripe to keep them from over-ripening. They will keep in the fridge for 3-5 days.
Winter Citrus Salad with Mixed Greens
Blender Citrus Vinaigrette
- 1 lemon
- 1 navel orange
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp orange zest
- 1 small shallot, chopped
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp honey
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Winter Citrus Salad
- 3-4 blood oranges
- 1 cara cara orange
- 1 navel orange
- 2 avocados
- 4 cups mixed baby greens
- 1/2 cup sliced toasted almonds
- 1/2 sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced
- For the vinaigrette: Zest both the lemon and the orange and then cut off the rinds from each. Cut each into sections, removing all the seeds. Add the lemon pieces, orange pieces, zests, shallot, salt, pepper, and honey to the blender. Pulse and blend until the fruit is smooth and liquid. Then, with the blender running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream. The dressing will be thick. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. You will have about 2 cups of dressing.
- For the salad: Cut the rinds off of all the citrus - blood oranges, cara cara, and navel orange. Then slice the oranges through their sections into wheels. Halve the avocados and slice them the long way, then sprinkle them with a little kosher salt.
- Fill the salad bowl with the mixed greens, then layer on the oranges, avocados, sweet onion, and almonds. Drizzle the salad with about 1/2 - 2/3 cup of the dressing and serve. Store the remaining dressing in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- You will only need about 1/3 of the dressing in the salad. I reflected that in my estimated calorie count. (Note: the calorie count is for informational purposes only. If you need very accurate calorie measures you will need to do them yourself.)
- Use any mix of oranges and sweet grapefruits you find in the store.
- To toast the almonds, I baked them at 350F for about 4 minutes.
- If you want to add a little more flavor to the salad, toss the greens with some kosher salt before you layer them into the salad bowl.