February 27, 2014

Spinach Goat Cheese Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette

Blood orange season is here.  The delicious ruby fruits are only available for a short time.  Blood oranges are sweet and fruity; they also have less of an acidy bite than normal oranges.

I've been experimenting with and eating these blood oranges since I found them in the grocery store last week.  Stay tuned for blood orange curd with panna cotta, and blood orange and dark chocolate scones.

I love fruit in spinach salads; the blood oranges pair so well with the tangy goat cheese and the bright happy blood orange vinaigrette tops it all off. I might have eaten this salad for lunch every day this week.  And I will probably be able to keep eating this salad until the blood oranges disappear again.

Spinach salad is infinitely adaptable, and this one is no different.  Add some nuts (candied walnuts would be great), more cheese, different cheese, different fruit.  Experiment and play until you're super happy with what you're eating.  But don't skip the blood orange vinaigrette--it's the best part.

Spinach Salad

2 cups spinach leaves
1 blood orange
1/2 slice of goat cheese
blood orange vinaigrette

  1. Wash your spinach leaves and pile them on a plate. 
  2. Peel your blood orange slice it into quarter inch rounds.  I peeled it normally and ate the outer membrane, but you can peel it with a knife if that floats your boat. Place blood orange on top of spinach leaves.
  3. Use your fingers to pull small chunks of goat cheese and scatter them around your salad.  
  4. Dress with the blood orange vinaigrette on top and enjoy!

Blood Orange Vinaigrette 

2 tablespoons blood orange juice (from about 1 orange)
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
squeeze of honey
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup of olive oil--good quality and tasty

  1. In a mason jar combine blood orange juice, lemon juice, mustard, honey, and olive oil.  
  2. Tightly place a lid on your jar, and vigorously shake to combine all the ingredients.  
  3. Taste your vinaigrette and add salt and pepper.  Shake and taste again.  It is sometimes easier to taste dressing if you dip a lettuce leaf into it.  Add more salt or pepper if necessary. 
  4. Drizzle over your favorite salads and try it on the one above!
This salad is so delicious, and it's full of vitamins and minerals which are totally helping me get over the winter doldrums. 

What's your favorite winter fruit? What are you cooking that's helping beat the winter blahs?

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