Citrus and Spinach Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing

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This Citrus and Spinach Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing is one lively and refreshing salad! It’s a great way to break up the heavy and rich winter foods that we tend to gravitate towards when the temperature drops. This salad combines some of the best seasonal produce winter has to offer, including beets, citrus, crisp fennel, and radishes. It’s topped with a creamy lemon yogurt dressing that is much more lush then an ordinary lemon vinaigrette, yet still healthy! Crunchy candied pistachios complete the salad recipe.

It’s a great opportunity to use raw fennel, which has such a unique anise flavor. For another wintery fennel citrus salad, see our Creamy Fennel Salad with Orange Wedges and Fresh Mint recipe.

If you like the peppery flavor of arugula, use baby arugula here! Other options for this recipe include spring greens, baby spinach, or a mix of all three.

Citrus and Spinach Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing

Citrus and Spinach Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing

Yields: 10 servings | Serving Size: 1 cup salad and 1-1/2 tablespoons dressing | Calories: 318 | Total Fat: 23 g | Saturated Fat: 3 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 1 mg | Sodium: 113 mg | Carbohydrates: 26 g | Dietary Fiber: 4 g | Sugars: 14 g | Protein: 7 g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 12


  • 3 to 4 large beets
  • 1 bulb fennel
  • 2 oranges (navel or blood oranges)
  • 2 pink grapefruits
  • 2 packages baby arugula, mesclun ( sometimes called spring greens mix), or baby spinach
  • 2 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups shelled, unsalted, untoasted pistachios
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (juice from about 4 lemons)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup nonfat or lowfat Greek yogurt


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Scrub beets clean and wrap each tightly with foil. Do not peel the beets. Bake beets for about an hour until they are tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven and allow to rest until they are cool enough to handle. Carefully removed the foil and peel the beets with a vegetable peeler. Slice the beets into even rounds.
  2. To make citrus segments, first peel the citrus by placing it on a flat cutting board and cutting around it with a knife to remove both the peel and the white pith. Holding each piece of citrus at a bowl, one at a time, cut between each membrane of the fruit until a segment pops out. Strain the fruit and remove any seeds.
  3. Alternatively, peel the citrus by hand and serve the segments in the salad with the skin on.
  4. Using a sharp knife, slice the fennel horizontally as thinly as possible. Slice radishes across, very thinly as well.
  5. Toast the pistachios by placing them in a saute pan or skillet over medium heat. It may be necessary to work in 2 batches so as not to crowd the pan. Stir constantly. Nuts should become fragrant and slightly golden brown after about 3 to 4 minutes. Pour the honey onto the nuts, stirring. Once the nuts are coated, take the skillet off the heat. Remove the nuts from the pan and place them flat on wax paper. Sprinkle with salt. Allow to cool for about 20 to 30 minutes to harden.
  6. In a large bowl, combine the arugula, fennel, radishes, onion, and citrus.
  7. Combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, dijon mustard, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Drizzle the olive oil in a gradual stream, whisking the whole time. Next, whisk in the Greek yogurt.
  8. Add the beets to the top or along the sides of the salad (the rich color bleeds into the salad). Sprinkle the candied pistachios on top of the salad. Serve the dressing on the side, or drizzle over just before serving.

What did you think of this Citrus and Spinach Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing? Let us know in the comment section! 

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12 Comments on "Citrus and Spinach Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing"

  1. Barbara Murray  August 1, 2014

    Fennel is listed in the directions but not in the list of ingredients. How much is needed?

    • SkinnyMs  August 1, 2014

      Barbara, One bulb is needed. Thank you for noticing that!

  2. Jessa  February 13, 2016

    Hi: is it the small red radish, or the long white, I’ve seen so many varieties Wouldn’t know which one to use :-}*
    Thank you

    • Gale Compton  February 14, 2016

      Jessa, It’s whichever you prefer, it’s a personal choice. I like the red ones, but the long white variety is fine too! 🙂

  3. jessa  February 14, 2016

    Hi: You never make me wait for answers!!
    Thank you Gale

  4. jessa  February 19, 2016

    Hi: What else can I used instead of the 2 cups shelled, unsalted, untoasted pistachios without loosing too much of the nutritious value?
    beets, bulb fennel, oranges (navel or blood oranges), pink grapefruits, packages baby arugula; Does the wight matters?
    Thank you.

    • Gale Compton  February 20, 2016

      Jessa, You can sub with any nut of your choice. I would recommend using walnut pieces. I’m not sure what you mean by, “Does the weight matter”?

  5. jessa  May 7, 2016

    Hi Walnut sounds good to me. About the weight , I was referring to the weight of the items since I’ve seen grape fruits really big if i can have an idea on how many grams your grape fruits are I could work out on how much do i need to buy and use as to much o get close to the nutrition fact provided.
    Thank you

    • Gale Compton  May 8, 2016

      Jessa, I recommend a medium size grape fruit. 🙂

  6. jessa  May 10, 2016

    Thank you xxxx

  7. jessa  May 11, 2016

    Thank you. Any other way to cook the beets?


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