This winter citrus salad is a beautiful blend of blood, and navel oranges, grapefruit slices, and creamy avocado, drizzled, with an orange dijon vinaigrette.This recipe isn’t so much about the salad, as it is about the salad dressing.
I stopped buying bottled dressing many moons ago, as we usually opt for a simple vinaigrette, or even just olive oil and red wine vinegar or lemon juice. I don’t think many people realize how easy, and I mean really easy, it is to make a simple and delicious homemade dressing. (This post was originally published February 16, 2016 and was last updated on August 9th, 2023. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn commission on qualifying purchases.)
What kind of oil is best for vinaigrette dressing?
When you read the label on a bottle of “classic Italian” salad dressing, olive oil is almost never listed in the first few ingredients. Avoid canola, vegetable, and seed oils and opt for healthier oils like olive, or avocado oil.
In a classic vinaigrette dressing, olive oil should be the star. This is also the time to use the best olive oil you can afford.
I have no less than 4 different types and qualities of olive oil in my cupboard. I splurge on the best imported olive oil from a local specialty store, (though sometimes I might collect them when I travel) just for drizzling on tomatoes in a Caprese salad or in salad dressing.
Ingredients in orange Dijon vinaigrette
A classic vinaigrette consists of oil, red wine vinegar, or in this case, citrus juice, for acidity, and a bit of sweetness, either from a whisper of sugar or honey. In this dressing, apple cider vinegar gives it a bit of sweetness and punch. Fresh herbs are a nice touch, though not necessary. My go-to fresh herb is thyme. While I love basil, I feel it is decidedly a summer herb. Thyme seems to float effortlessly between all the seasons.
Thyme also grows year-round in my pathway, making it easy to pick and add to just about any dish I prepare. If you stick to the basic vinaigrette rule, and test several types of oils and vinegar, you will find a blend that’s pleasing to your family.
- 4 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
How to make orange Dijon vinaigrette
- In a small bowl whisk all dressing ingredients together. It can also be made in a mason jar and just shaken until emulsified.
- Serve immediately over salad greens or citrus slices. Store leftover dressing in an airtight container the refrigerator.
While this orange dijon vinaigrette recipe is delicious with winter citrus fruits, it’s also delicious on a simple salad with romaine or butter lettuce. Now that you have the lovely orange dijon dressing, it’s time to make the citrus salad.
How to cut the citrus
Cut off either end of the fruit and cut the peel with a sharp knife, removing skin and white pith (white membrane). Then cut into 1/4″ slices.
How to Make a Citrus Salad
Choose a mix of citrus fruits, from red grapefruit and Cara Cara oranges, to navel and blood oranges, or sumo tangerines, or whatever fresh citrus you can find. You can omit the goat cheese or substitute it for another soft creamy cheese like feta cheese.
- 2 oranges peeled and sliced
- 2 blood oranges peeled and sliced
- 1 grapefruit peeled and sliced
- 2 avocados peeled and sliced
- 1 purple or red onion peeled and sliced thinly
- 8 cups field greens
- 1 head radicchio sliced
- 6 ounces goat cheese crumbled
- Fresh thyme for garnish
Assembling the citrus salad
Wash salad greens several hours in advance. A salad dressing or vinaigrette clings better to dry greens!
This simple citrus salad is all about the beautiful presentation and the citrus dressing.
- Depending on how many you’re serving, choose an appropriate sized platter.
- Fill the platter with your favorite greens. I love mixed field greens, and peppery arugula. But butter lettuce would also make a nice base.
- Arrange the citrus slices alternating between size and color over the greens.
- Fill in the gaps with thinly sliced purple onion and radicchio, thin slices of avocado and goat cheese.
- Just before serving, drizzle the tangy vinaigrette over the salad.
- Instead of a platter, make individual salads salads on plates.
Orange Dijon Vinaigrette with Fresh Thyme
- Whisk all dressing ingredients together. (Orange juice through black pepper)
- Serve immediately over salad greens or citrus slices. Store leftover dressing in the refrigerator.