Time for some truth talk … salad isn’t usually a word in my vocabulary during the winter. Soup, curry, casserole, crock-pot dinner, these are all words that scream WINTER to me. Salad? Not so much. In summer when the local farmers’ markets are overflowing with fresh fruits and vegetables I’m all for a good salad. During the colder months when the markets are no where to be found, and the selection of locally grown produce is limited to squash and some lifeless looking greens, it’s hard to get excited about a salad. That is until this arugula orange salad!
Sweet fennel and juicy oranges compliment peppery arugula, and sliced almonds add a little texture to this bright salad. Tossed with a tangy poppy seed dressing, this arugula orange salad brings a much needed vibrancy to the grey days of winter.
I was one of those weird kids who loved black licorice. My mom would always have a stash of licorice all-sorts in the house when I was young, and while you couldn’t pay my siblings to try them, she had to keep them hidden away or I would sneak into her supply and eat the whole bag! As I’ve gotten older I don’t let myself keep stashes of the candy around (hello no self control!), so I’ve had to find other avenues for my black licorice fix. Enter fennel. Fennel has that anise flavor that black licorice is famous for, and while it’s not quite as fun to eat as the pink, yellow and blue all-sorts of my youth, it brings on all the nostalgic memories when I eat it!
Complimenting the licorice flavor of the fennel in this salad is peppery arugula. While they provide a great balance of flavours, just a big ol’ bowl of greens isn’t really my thing. Don’t get me wrong, I love eating lots of greens. I actually get great joy finding sneaky ways to incorporate more greens into my meals! But let’s be real, greens on their own taste a little … blah. My solution to this? I add fruit to 90% of my salads. I love the burst of flavor it adds, and citrus compliments the spicy arugula so well. Add to that the fact that naval oranges are in season right now and it just seemed like destiny that they end up in this salad.
To finish off the salad is a yogurt and apple cider vinegar based poppy seed dressing. The yogurt provides a nice creamy consistency to the dressing, while the sourness of the apple cider vinegar helps to balance the spicy arugula. To get the full health benefits of the apple cider vinegar be sure to use raw, unfiltered vinegar. Speaking of health benefits, flavours and seasonality of the produce aside, this salad has another feature that makes it the perfect wintery meal – all of it’s cold fighting power. Apple cider vinegar is said to help sooth a sore throat, and oranges contain lots of vitamin C which is thought to protect the immune system and fight the common cold. So next time you are feeling a little under the weather this winter, enjoy a big ol’ bowl of Fennel and Arugula Orange Salad!
Sweet fennel and oranges compliment peppery arugula tossed in a tangy poppy seed dressing that brings together all of the flavours in this vibrant salad.
- 4 cups arugula
- 1 cup fennel
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1 naval orange
- 1/2 cup yogurt (see notes)
- 2 tbsp poppy seeds
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp yellow onion
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp salt
Thinly slice fennel (easiest to use a mandolin for this).
Peel orange and cut segments in half.
Combine arugula, fennel, orange segments and sliced almonds in a bowl and set aside.
Combine yogurt, poppy seeds, apple cider vinegar, honey, yellow onion, Dijon mustard and salt in a blender. Blend well to combine.
Pour dressing over salad, toss, and enjoy!
For a very creamy dressing use greek yogurt, for a thinner dressing use regular yogurt.