Arugula is tossed with fresh baby spinach and topped with thinly sliced sweet onions, sweet winter citrus, and a super simple homemade vinaigrette. It's a simple, tasty, and vibrant salad that can be prepped in just 10 minutes!
HELLO sunny salad!
Bringing you this VERY simple and vibrant salad to kick off your wintry week! Zesty arugula and fresh baby spinach are tossed with thinly sliced sweet onions, winter citrus, and a VERY simple homemade vinaigrette.
This salad feels like a promise of warmer days to come as I stare out my window at the snow. And it's a promise that big taste can come from the simplest of ingredients.
Does it feel strange to anyone else that citrus season is at its peak in the dead of winter? Winter citrus seems like such an oxymoron. Bright, brilliant color bursting with sweet juiciness offering up its sunniness just when we begin longing for something to offset the frigid temps of snowstorms and a polar vortex.
I'm ready for summer.
I even wore my flip-flops outside today. Call it premature optimism.
This summery salad embraces some of the best flavors winter has to offer. With snow outside and my flip-flops failing to convince summer to arrive any faster, it's time to liven things up with winter citrus on our plates.
Why you'll love this salad
- It's so dang easy. I questioned whether or not I should even share this recipe with you because it's so ridiculously simple. But sometimes we just need an occasional reminder that some things in life can be easy.
- Less than 10 ingredients. 4 ingredients for the salad. 5 ingredients for the salad dressing. Yep, very basic.
- Big beautiful sunny taste. That juicy winter citrus combined with the mild, crunchy tang of a thinly sliced sweet onion and the combo of spicy arugula and mild spinach is just so...(offers up an Italian chef kiss)
- Perfect for a party. It's tasty and approachable for all preferences. Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Whole30, Paleo...you get my drift.
- No cooking required. Slice the citrus. Slice the onion. A quick mix of basic vinaigrette ingredients. Toss it up with some arugula and spinach. Done.
- It looks pretty. Maybe a weird reason to love a salad but who doesn't like pretty food?! That vibrant winter citrus provides some colorful cheer during the winter blues.
- Bonus: This salad is super healthy too!
- Winter citrus: Mandarin oranges, tangerines, clementines, Cara Cara oranges, blood oranges (aka Moro oranges), or even grapefruit. I used mandarin oranges but don't shy away from trying other winter citrus in this salad!
- Sweet onion: Less pungent and sweeter than yellow onions, the sweet onion is a tasty compliment to the sweet citrus. Look for Vidalia, Walla Walla, Texas Sweet, Sweet Mayans, or Maui onions.
- White balsamic vinegar: You may also see it labeled 'golden balsamic vinegar'. It's milder in flavor than regular balsamic vinegar.
Step by step instructions
Step 1: Add all of the vinaigrette ingredients to a mason jar.
Step 2: Place a tight-fitting lid on the mason jar and give it a good shake until the vinaigrette ingredients are combined.
Step 3: Thinly slice half a sweet onion.
Step 4: Peel and slice the winter citrus.
Step 5: Add a combination of half arugula and half baby spinach to a large salad bowl.
Step 6: Add the sliced onions to the greens and give it all a toss.
Step 7: Arrange the citrus slices on the salad.
Step 8: Drizzle the salad with the simple vinaigrette.
And there you have it. Big, bright taste. Simple ingredients. What's not to love?!
Optional salad add-in ideas!
Need a little more flair in your salad?! This winter citrus salad is tasty as-is but it also serves as a wonderful foundation for any one (or two!) of these optional add-in ideas if you're looking to bulk up your salad a bit more or just want to change things up.
- Sliced avocado
- Dried cranberries
- Chopped, dried cherries
- Pepitas or any other seed and/or nut you enjoy
- Pomegranate arils
- Soft goat cheese
- This salad is best eaten the same day it is prepared. If you are wanting to prep it in advance hold off on adding the vinaigrette to the salad until you are ready to serve.
- When selecting citrus at the grocery store make sure the skin is bruise-free and firm. Avoid citrus that has soft, squishy, or tender spots. It should also have a strong, sweet citrusy smell. If it doesn't pass these criteria it's probably not tasty citrus.
- The vinaigrette tends to seperate after it sits for a bit. All you need to do is give it another quick shake to reincorporate.
Recipe frequently asked questions
You could use regular balsamic vinegar. It will give the dressing a more complex flavor. If you'd prefer to stick with an option that is milder, try rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar.
Have a slight aversion to the slightly spicy 'peppery' flavor of arugula? No problem. Swap it out for more baby spinach or substitute Bibb Lettuce (Little Gem or Boston) or even massaged lacinato kale (that's right, massage it).
So how ARE you guys holding up this winter?! Especially those of you in the polar vortex region?! I saw that Wisconsin hit a low of minus-31 degrees. Have mercy.
I hope this winter citrus salad brings a bit of sunshine and joy to your tastebuds. ♡
More tasty salad recipes!
- Roasted Beet & Butternut Squash Salad
- Spiralized Cucumber Summer Salad
- Picnic Perfect Kale Quinoa Salad + Cider Vinaigrette
- Green Salad with Grapefruit and Red & Golden Beets + Balsamic Dressing
- Spicy Red Quinoa Salad
- Brussels Sprout & Pancetta Salad with Chili-Lime Vinaigrette
- Three Bean Salad
Did You Make This Recipe?!
If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment and a star rating below! I greatly appreciate your feedback and it is also so helpful for other PMST readers who are thinking about making the recipe. Remember to snap a photo and tag @passmesometasty on Instagram so I can see!
Update Notes: This post was originally published in February 2019, but was re-published with updated photos, step-by-step instructions, recipe tips, and FAQs in January 2022.
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