There's something about citrus that reminds me of summer. So, when summertime finally arrives, I love to make a citrus salad with citrus salad dressing. Nothing tastes better than a fresh salad in the summer, especially when it's hot outside. And, the weather definitely calls for fresh summer salads. So, when I saw beautiful oranges and vibrant beets at the market, I planned an entree citrus salad recipe for tonight's dinner.
Generally, the tastiest oranges, regardless of variety, are firm, full-colored, smooth, and thin-skinned. However, as you would with most fruits and veggies, steer clear of oranges that are too soft, show even the smallest signs of mold, or feel bruised anywhere on the fruit.
Even though oranges typically are in season in the winter, Valencia oranges' peak season is April to June. First grown in California, the most common variety is Valencia, which is both juicy and richly hued.
Unlike oranges, beets, a root vegetable, harvest all summer through late fall, store well, and keeps for months. In addition, while golden and red beets possess an earthy, bitter flavor raw, they turn candy-like when roasted. For that reason, the combination of oranges and beets in a salad paired with the right vegetables tastes delectable.
What goes into a citrus salad?
- Yellow Beets
- Red Beets
- Pickled Red Onions (or raw onions)
- Tofu Feta Cheese
- Microgreens (garnish)
What is arugula?
Arugula is a peppery, distinctive-tasting green that originated in the Mediterranean region. This classification includes mostly cruciferous vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, kale, cauliflower, and broccoli. It’s also known as a salad rocket and Italian cress. Arugula is a member of the Brassica or Cruciferous family.
This delicious green is a nutrient-dense food that is high in fiber and phytochemicals. Arugula is low in sugar, calories, carbohydrates, and fat. It’s high in several vital nutrients. These include:
- Calcium, which helps the blood to clot normally. It’s also necessary for bone health, tooth health, muscle function, and nerve function.
- Potassium, a mineral and an electrolyte that’s vital for heart and nerve function. It also helps the muscles contract normally. In addition, potassium helps to reduce the negative effects of sodium, and it may be beneficial for people with high blood pressure for this reason.
- Folate, a B vitamin. It helps support the production of DNA and other genetic material. It’s vital for women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Folate deficiency in pregnant women may lead to spina bifida, a neural tube defect.
- Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that helps support the immune system. Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is important for tissue health and iron absorption from food.
- Vitamin K, which helps with blood coagulation. If you require a prescription blood thinner, such as warfarin (Coumadin), discuss your vitamin K intake with your doctor before changing your eating habits.
- Vitamin A, the umbrella term for a group of fat-soluble retinoids. Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant, which supports immune function, cell growth, night vision, and overall eye health. It also works to help maintain kidney, lung, and heart function.
How to make quick pickled red onions
Believe it or not, making pickled red onions is easy, and there's a quick way to do it! And it only requires a few ingredients.
Pickled Red Onion Ingredients
How to make homemade citrus salad dressing
Since oranges and lemons are beautiful and vibrant this time of year, I chose to combine both. With that being said, fresh juice is always better than bottles of juice. So, I juice my own lemons and oranges. In a pinch, bottled juice works, but fresh juice is simply fresh, without any added sugars or preservatives.
Again, simple, clean ingredients are always the goal when making a great dressing. But, taste, texture, and flavor are just as important. I love dressing, and citrus dressing for salads is one of my favorites. In fact, it's so good I could drink it. So, let's make a simple dressing you will love for your next summer salad recipe.
- Oranges, fresh squeezed
- Lemon, fresh squeezed
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Whole-grain mustard
- Maple syrup or date syrup
However, you don't need a blender or anything other than a whisk or a spoon with this dressing. The ingredients, for instance, are stirred together and refrigerated until ready for use. That's it.
While the flavors of the citrus salad stand alone, the citrus salad dressing provides an extra pop of flavor.
For this salad recipe, I chose pistachios, not only because I love them but for their unique flavor. Pistachio tastes earthy, smooth in texture, and finishes with a slightly salty and sweet flavor. On the other hand, the Tofu Feta Cheese adds a protein component and a savory taste.
Even though store-bought tofu feta cheese is readily available, I prefer to make my own. And, making tofu feta cheese is easy and more healthy than the store-bought options.
- Extra-firm tofu
- Apple cider vinegar
- Yellow or white miso paste
- Sea salt
- Lemon juiced and zested
- Italian Seasoning
If you love sweet and savory, dive into a bowl of this citrus salad recipe. As an entree or a side salad, this citrus salad recipe not only looks beautiful, it tastes incredible.
What goes well with citrus salad?
- For variety, include fresh mint or basil, or add avocado for an additional flavor and texture.
Do I need to blend the citrus salad dressing?
- No; whisk the ingredients together and chill until ready to serve
Should the citrus salad recipe be dressed in advance?
- It is recommended to dress the salad right before serving so it doesn't get soggy. For instance, dress individual servings, and keep leftover salad undressed to eat another day.
Is it best to use fresh fruit instead of juice for the citrus salad dressing?
- Definitely! Fresh lemon and oranges make a fresh and flavorful dressing.
How long does citrus salad dressing last in the refrigerator?
- 5 days covered.
If you love fresh salads, try these healthy salad recipes
- Roasted Vegetable Salad
- Chickpea Quinoa Salad - Southwest Style!
- Summer Salads
- Mexican Quinoa Salad
- Vegan Caesar Salad
- How To Make Mango Kale Salad With Cilantro Lime Dressing
- Green Bean Salad
- Mexican Corn Salad
- Charred Corn Salad
- Grape Salad
- Greek Orzo Salad
- Lemony Orzo Salad
- Marinated Vegetable Salad
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂