Dish up this healthy combination of sweet, tangy, and peppery flavors!
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
- 3 to 4 beets large
- 1 fennel bulb
- 2 oranges navel or blood oranges
- 2 pink grapefruits
- 2 packages baby arugula or mesclun ( sometimes called spring greens mix) or baby spinach
- 2 radishes thinly sliced
- 1 red onion small, thinly sliced
- 2 cups pistachios shelled, unsalted, untoasted
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1/3 cup lemon juice fresh, about 4 lemons
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- black pepper freshly ground, to taste
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt non-fat or low-fat
- 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 remove the foil and peel the beets with a vegetable peeler. Slice the beets into even rounds.
- 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.
- Alternatively, peel the citrus by hand and serve the segments in the salad with the skin on.
- Using a sharp knife, slice the fennel horizontally as thinly as possible. Slice radishes across, very thinly as well.
- 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.
- In a large bowl, combine the arugula, fennel, radishes, onion, and citrus.
- 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.
- 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.
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