You know that point you reach every winter where spring with all it’s fresh produce seems so far away, and you’re just craving something fresh!?! This salad started right there with that longing for local produce again. Last summer I made this awesome salad from Giada with local sun-ripened cantaloupe and red onions paired with arugula. It was so good I’m still thinking about it a February later!
Since cantaloupe is very distant on the horizon, I took the concept of fruit and red onions together, and went crazy with the amazing blood oranges we’ve been getting here lately! So crazy in fact that the dressing for this salad has a whole blood orange blended right in, and the flavor is fantastic!
I’ll be the first to admit that I often pass right over the blood oranges to reach for some delicious Cara Cara oranges. But… I’ve been working on branching out a bit, and not staying within the same old habits – so it’s blood oranges and Cara Cara together in this salad!
Today I’m giving a step by step with pictures for how to cut the skin off of citrus fruit, but feel free to speed things up by simply peeling all the citrus before slicing it into rounds!
Once you cut off both ends, using a sharp paring knife you cut off all the sides leaving only jewel-bright citrus behind.
From there, you slice the oranges into rounds. Be sure to remove any seeds from the blood oranges, and with the Cara Cara oranges you may want to cut the rounds into quarters because they’re a bit big in a salad!
Since the dressing is barely enough to cover the blades, it’s going to splash around a bit in the blender so make sure your lid is secure.
For the red onion, cut off both ends and peel off the tough outer layer. Then, cut the onion in half from the top to the bottom before laying them flat side down on the cutting board. Next you thinly slice the onion to make half moons, and after the onion is all sliced up be sure to separate the onion pieces into rings so there aren’t any big chunks.
So… I’d just like to say that I got carried away with presentation here, and it turned out not to be so great in the practicality department. Full slices of citrus can make the salad a bit difficult to eat, so I ended up taking a clean pair of kitchen shears to the salad to cut it into smaller bite-sized pieces.
One of the nights we made this, we added warm grilled chicken to this salad and it was so good! It’s a veritable explosion of fresh flavors topped with snowy white crumbles of salty feta cheese – perfect for the mid-winter produce blues!
- 12 ounces (about 12 cups) baby spinach, washed
- 2 Cara Cara or Navel oranges
- 4 small blood oranges
- 1 small red onion
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese (optional), I used a sheep's milk feta
- 1 small blood orange, peels cut off
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ Teaspoon sea salt
- 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
- Place the spinach in a serving bowl.
- For the citrus, cut off both ends, and using a sharp paring knife cut the peels from the edges leaving only citrus with no white peel behind. To save time, you can also peel the citrus before cutting it up.
- Slice the citrus into rounds, and then cut any of the big rounds into bite-sized pieces.
- For the onion, cut off both ends and peel the tough outer layer. Cut the onion in half from the top to the bottom, and lay both halves flat side down on the cutting board. Thinly slice across the halves to make half moons. When the onions are completely sliced up, separate the half rounds into individual rings.
- Arrange the citrus and red onion over the top of the spinach and sprinkle the crumbled feta cheese over the top.
- Prepare the dressing by blending all the ingredients listed in a blender until mostly smooth.
- At this point, the salad and dressing can be covered and stored separately in the fridge for up to 8 hours before serving.
- When you're ready to serve, pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
- Serve immediately!
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