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Citrus Spinach Salad with Almonds

Citrus Spinach Salad with Almonds
Yield:   4 servings
Cook Time:   None.
Tips:  Mandarin oranges may be used instead of naval oranges, if desired. Packaged baby spinach or bunches of spinach may be used. Removing the thin membrane skins from orange and grapefruit sections is recommended for best results, though optional. If using mandarin oranges, membrane removal is not necessary. See recipe description for details.
Suggestion:   Serve as a salad side or a light lunch or dinner with a side of bread.
This Citrus Spinach Salad with Almonds is fresh, light and truly delicious, and is loaded with health benefits! This healthy spinach salad recipe features fresh spinach leaves, sections of navel oranges (alternatively, mandarin oranges may be used) and sections of grapefruit with diced red onion. This fruit and onion mixture is briefly marinated in a salad dressing made with orange juice (or mandarin orange juice), white wine vinegar, honey, grated fresh ginger root and red pepper flakes, then the entire mixture is topped over each serving plate of spinach leaves. Slivered or sliced toasted almonds are then sprinkled over the top, giving this salad a nice, tender crunch. When purchasing your fresh spinach leaves, you can choose either a bunch or bagged spinach leaves (baby spinach or regular sized spinach leaves). Be as picky as you can, choosing spinach with plump, dark green leaves with as little markings as possible, trying to avoid wilted spinach leaves (though it is common to find a few to several compromised leaves in the bunch).
When cleaning spinach leaves, keep in mind they are more delicate than lettuce leaves. A great way to thoroughly clean spinach leaves without compromising their appearance is by placing them in a bowl of cold water, and gently swishing them around for about 15 seconds. Remove the leaves and gently blot them between tw o kitchen towels or a few paper towels. Alternatively, you can place them in a salad spinner, rinse under gently running cold water, then spin to dry.

When it comes to choosing grapefruit, yellow or pink will work beautifully with this spinach salad. After peeling and sectioning the grapefruit and orange, I highly recommend removing the thin membrane skins off both before marinating with the dressing, because it not only allows the juices from the fruit to combine with the dressing, it makes the fruit much more tender and easier to chew (grapefruit membrane tends to be a little tougher than orange and mandarin orange membrane, so if you're pressed for time, you can skip removing the orange membrane). If you're using mandarin oranges, the membrane does not need to be removed, because mandarin oranges have very thin and tender membranes. (Tip: Removing the membrane with a sharp knife is probably the easiest and quickest method, and is easier than using your hands.) However, if you prefer to leave the membrane on, this spinach salad will still be just as delicious - it will just have a slightly chewier texture. The above photo shows this Citrus Spinach Salad topped with slivered almonds, though you can also use sliced almonds, which will likely have some of the almond skin around the edges, which will also add more color. This healthy spinach salad is refreshing and the flavors are delightfully surprising!



  • Dressing
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger root
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • Spinach Salad
  • 2 grapefruit, peeled, sectioned and skins removed
  • 2 navel oranges or 4-6 mandarin oranges, peeled and skins removed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 6 cups lightly packed spinach leaves, large leaves torn into smaller pieces
  • 2/3 cup roasted sliced or slivered almonds



Combine orange juice, vinegar, oil, honey, ginger, salt and red pepper flakes in a blender. Mix thoroughly.

Spinach Salad

If preferred, remove membranes from grapefruit and oranges. (If using mandarin oranges, leave membranes on.) In a bowl, combine fruit, onion and dressing. Set aside for 30 minutes.

Line 4 serving plates with spinach leaves. Spoon fruit mixture with dressing over spinach, dividing equally. Just before serving, sprinkle with sliced almonds.

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