Delicious, simple and bright, this Festive Orange Spinach Salad is a wonderful companion to any Holiday feast or as a meal on its own.
Every single year I do it. I fill my plate so full of carbs and turkey on Thanksgiving that I feel like a zombie long into the New Year. Ok, so maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration, but I usually end up feeling incredibly sluggish the entire Thanksgiving weekend. A huge part of that is because I normally try to eat a significant amount of veggies. Thanksgiving week that just goes out the window. I want this year to be different. I have just way too much to accomplish this year to allow myself the 3 naps a day coming out of the turkey coma. That is where this Festive Orange Spinach Salad comes into play. It is simple enough to accompany the Thanksgiving meal, beautiful enough that people will be drawn to it and bottomline, it is delicious. One additional thing, leftover turkey tastes phenomenal on this salad.
Tips about Festive Orange Spinach Salad:
- You will need 5-6 medium size Valencia oranges but even more if you decide to make seconds. 2 of the oranges are for the salad dressing and 3-4 are for slicing in the salad. You will want a comfortable and sharp pairing knife to peel the oranges for the orange slices. To peel, cut off the ends of the oranges and then run the blade in-between the peel and orange flesh, making sure there is no pith attached. Once peeled, lay the orange on its side and slice into desired thickness.
- Toast raw and unsalted pecans in a 350℉ oven for 6 mins. Honey roasted pecans can also be used, however this Festive Orange Spinach Salad is naturally sweet on its own.
- I highly recommend using goat cheese crumbles for this recipe. The creaminess of the goat cheese goes incredibly well with the bright orange citrus flavor and the buttery pecans. For those who are not a fan of goat cheese, feta or blue cheese could be a good substitute.
- Here is the best part of this Festive Orange Spinach Salad, leftover turkey tastes phenomenal in this salad for a quick and healthy meal.
- For the Dressing
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice *about 2 oranges
- 1 tsp orange zest *packed, about zest of 2 oranges
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- ½ tsp salt
- For the Salad
- 6 oz bag baby spinach
- 1 med head romaine lettuce
- 1½ cups toasted unsalted pecans
- ½ cup pomegranate arils
- 4-6 oz crumbled goat cheese
- 3-4 oranges (a total of 5-6 oranges for the whole salad)
- Preheat oven to 350℉. Place pecans on cookie sheet. Bake for 5-6 mins or until toasted. Let cool before adding to salad.
- Zest and juice 2 oranges. Set zest aside.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl whisk orange juice into oil until emulsified. Add zest, mustard and salt. Mix well. Refrigerate until needed.
- Using a sharp pairing knife, cut ends off of remaining oranges and then run blade in-between peel and orange flesh. Make sure no pith remains. Lay orange on side and cut into slices of desired thickness.
- Wash and cut romaine.
- In a large salad bowl arrange spinach, romaine, pecans, pomegranate arils, orange slices and cheese. Toss with desired amount of salad dressing.
To lower fat grams, add additional lettuce and use a smaller amount of dressing.
This recipe is part of Food Network’s Fall Fest recipe round up. For more Thanksgiving inspiration check out:
The Lemon Bowl: Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
Foodtastic Mom: French Style Sweet Potato Soufflé
Feed Me Phoebe: Gluten-Free Stuffing with Vegan “Creamed Spinach” and Leeks
The Hungry Traveler: Loaded Smashed Potatoes
Healthy Eats: 7 Lighter Takes on Essential Thanksgiving Sides
Dishin & Dishes: Bacon Wrapped Butternut Squash Wedges
The Mediterranean Dish: Jeweled Couscous with Pomegranate and Lentils
A Mind “Full” Mom: Parmesan Garlic Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes
Creative Culinary: Golden Onion Casserole with Thyme and Toasted Bread Rounds
Swing Eats: Creamed Spinach
Taste with the Eyes: It’s Back-The Stuffing Everyone Loves!
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Pan Seared Cauliflower
FN Dish: Stovetop vs Oven-Baked: Battle of the Thanksgiving Side Dishes