Winter citrus salad with creamy dijon dressing

This is the last side dish that rounded out the bison steak night meal.  With the heaviness of the potato and steak, I wanted the accompanying side dish to be a bit lighter and fresher.  Perhaps also as a palate cleanser.  I went with a quick salad that contains one of my very favorite flavor combos, red onion and orange.

I know it sounds really odd; the first time I was presented with it I thought the same thing.  I was visiting my mom several years ago and she made a salad with mandarin oranges and red onion.  I was nervous to eat it.  Fruit and onions?  I dunno.

After one bite I was hooked!  The citrus really mellows out the bite of the onion and brings out its sweetness instead.  It tastes fresh and new, like a summer morning after a thunderstorm.  Or like a winter morning after a heavy snow storm.

Which currently, central Ohio knows all too much what that’s like.

Because it’s winter and citrus is in season, I used two “orange” flavors.  Clementines and oranges.  Clems for inside the salad, fresh squeezed orange juice for the dressing and marinade.

Andrea’s Winter Citrus Salad with Creamy Dijon Dressing

For the salad:

  • Mixed greens
  • Crushed pecans and walnuts
  • Cranberries
  • 2 Clementines
  • Sliced red onion
  • 1 orange

For the dressing:

  • Juice of one orange
  • Splash Red wine vinegar
  • 1TBSP Olive oil
  • 1TBSP Dijon dressing
  • Salt and pepper

I didn’t give salad amounts because that’s up to you how much salad you want to create.  I just did some small side salads when I made this for us.

Peel and separate the clementines, place them in a small mixing bowl.  Add in some sliced red onion and the juice of one orange.  Mix and let sit for at least a half an hour.  The longer the better!  Stir occasionally so that everything gets covered and has a chance to soak in the orange juice.

When ready to eat, assemble the salads and scoop out the clementines and red onions adding them to the salad mixture. Leaving the juice behind in the mixing bowl.  To the mixing bowl add in the ingredients for the dressing (the juice of one orange is already in there).  Stir and taste. You will only need a few small splashes of the red wine vinegar just to give it some kick and tartness.  Once the dressing is made, pour evenly over salads and eat!

This salad did exactly what I hoped, it cut through the heaviness of the potatoes and bison while providing a nice fresh background.  The clementines were juicy and sweet while the red onions and dijon dressing gave a kick to let you know it was also savory.

Scott liked the dressing so much that he asked for it again when we had salads the next day for lunch. :D

In the winter I sometimes think we can forget that we still have access to some great fruit that is in season!  The summer fruits are wonderful but when the cold is creeping in and you need something with a little bit of sunshine, citrus will come through for you every time.

Have fun guys, and remember always play with your food!  Enjoy!

5 thoughts on “Winter citrus salad with creamy dijon dressing

  1. I adore the addition of sweet citrus fruit to a salad. However, I have this weird raw vegetable phobia during the winter and I can’t get myself to eat anything other than roasted vegetables. Maybe I will stray away from my winter norm soon.. your salad looks colorful and tasty :)

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