Not sure what to eat today? This blood orange salad is a special treat. All the flavors are combined to perfection in this fantastic fresh salad. Cooked warm onions and blood orange pair perfectly in this salad with the peppery arugula, crunchy pistachios, and tangy feta cheese.
I love salads. I love them in any way, shape, or form. And by salads, I don't mean those mushy, mayo-laden concoctions usually put in between two slices of bread. I'm talking about fresh, crisp, colorful, and nutritious. And of course, never boring. This blood orange arugula salad is a special treat with several of my favorite flavors.
I mean, if you think about it, when it comes to salads, the possibilities are endless. I can't even tell you how many combinations we've come up with over the years.
In fact, that's the thing we are sort of known for when we have guests over. They look forward to our salad creations. Do you know how people usually serve appetizers before dinner when they entertain? Well, we serve salads. Like, half a dozen of them or more. We get inspired by whatever fresh produce is available and in season. And everyone thoroughly enjoys them.
So here's another one to add to our repertoire. We love the addition of some type of warm element to compliment the freshness of the raw veggies. And the creamy avocado goes perfectly with the peppery arugula. Just, yum!
What are blood oranges?
Blood oranges are citrus fruit in the same class as navel oranges with intensely red-orange colored flesh inside. The deep red color comes from the anthocyanin pigment. Blood oranges are slightly bitter, but it's offset by their sweetness. Also as a trade-off, they are less acidic than the orange-colored flesh of a regular orange.
Ingredients for Blood Orange Salad with Arugula
- Red Onion. In this case the slightly edgy flavor of red onion is a complement to the slight bitterness of the blood orange and the peppery flavor of arugula. The onions in this vegetarian salad are cooked in extra virgin olive oil.
- Salt and Pepper. Freshly cracked pepper is such a nice pairing with the peppery arugula. So much flavor! Adjust amount your liking.
- Large Basil Leaves. Growing basil is very easy and rewarding. I like to just cut my basil leaves with scissors. You can stack all of the basil leaves and cut them all at once.
- Blood Oranges. You will find these in season at your local grocery store between December and April.
- Baby Arugula or Romaine Lettuce. The ever so slightly peppery bite of aurugla is my favorite, but in a pinch this salad can be made with romaine.
- Roasted Shelled Pistachios. If you can, buy roasted and shelled to minimize your work load.
- Sheep's Feta Cheese: adds creaminess and extra tang to this salad. If you want to make this salad vegan, just use vegan feta cheese.
- Hass Avocado. Watch for avocados on sale, it's the perfect time to make this salad! I've found the best way to buy avocados without risking spoilage is to buy unripe fruit and let it ripen in a fruit bowl next to the bananas. Once they start to soften and get close to perfect, I place them in the fridge.
How to Make A Blood Orange Salad
Making a fresh, homemade salad with blood oranges includes just four simple steps.
- First, you will heat the olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic with salt and pepper. Stir frequently and heat until translucent.
- Second, you will add the basil sliced into ribbons and the blood oranges peeled, sliced, and quartered. Continue cooking everything for a few more minutes.
- Third, rinse the arugula and arrange it on the bottom of four salad plates. Add the warm onions, garlic, and blood orange along with pistachios, feta cheese, and the diced avocado. Finally, dress your salad with a great dressing such as Mustard or Chia Seed Dressing.
Total cooking time is about ten minutes tops and the whole process takes less than fifteen minutes from start to finish.
Tips for Salad Making
- Thinly slice garlic and onions. You may use a mandolin slicer if you own one, just make sure you protect your hands and fingers. They're really sharp.
- Buy shelled pistachios or have your kids help you remove the shells from about 60 pistachios. Use a food chopper or the pulse feature on your food processor to roughly chop the pistachios. Or you can use a good sharp knife and cutting board.
- If you plan to serve the salad on the same day you go to the store, here's how to find a great avocado. Look for an avocado that indents easily when you press on it, but too much. It should be starting to turn dark green, but not yet fully transitioned to the dark color. The little stem at the top should pop off easily when you rub over it with your thumb.
More Great Vegetarian Salads
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Not sure what to eat today? This blood orange salad is a special treat. All the flavors are combined to perfection in this fantastic fresh salad. Warm onions and blood orange pair perfectly in this salad with the peppery arugula, crunchy pistachios, and tangy feta cheese.
- 3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp pepper
- 15 large basil leaves, cut in ribbons (about ½ cup)
- 2 small blood oranges, peeled, sliced, and quartered
- 7 ounces baby arugula or romaine lettuce
- ¼ cup roasted shelled pistachios, chopped (about 60 pistachios)
- 4 oz sheep's feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
- 1 Hass avocado, diced
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Sauté at medium hear for 5-7minutes, until translucent
- Add basil and blood orange and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes. Set aside
- To assemble, arrange arugula at the bottom of 4 salad plates. Add warm onions, garlic and blood orange and top each one with 1 tablespoon of pistachios, 1 ounce feta cheese (if using) and diced avocado.
- Dress salad with Mustard or Chia Seed Dressing.
This post was originally published on February 24, 2014 and has been updated with more information and new pictures.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Category: Salad
- Method: Raw
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
- Serving Size: 2.5 cups without dressing
- Calories: 260
- Sugar: 9.1
- Sodium: 423
- Fat: 18.7
- Saturated Fat: 6
- Unsaturated Fat: 11.5
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 18.2
- Fiber: 5.9
- Protein: 8.6
- Cholesterol: 25.2