This salad is the most amazing, pleasantly surprising, savory combination of flavors. It’s a refreshing treat made with peak-season oranges to brighten your winter days.
It’s peak citrus season, so what to do with all those amazing oranges–aside from just peeling and eating them? I crave a good salad pretty much daily, and I feel like there’s an opportunity to make salads in winter just as delicious as those made with summertime produce.
Salad with oranges? Challenge accepted.
I was inspired by this AMAZING salad from Bon Appetite’s Making Perfect Thanksiving Youtube series. I made it for Thanksgiving this year and could not get enough of it. I ate it nearly everyday for a month after Thanksgiving and only had to stop because honeynut squash went out of season. (Come baaaack!!)
Luckily, I’ve created another salad that’s just as delicious.
How to make this salad
There are several components that need to be made for this salad, but they’re all really easy and take less than 5 minutes of prep. Once they’re made, tossing your salad together for lunch or dinner is super simple.
- Kale – Tear curly or lacinato kale into salad-sized pieces, massaging them to make them more tender. Baby kale will also work.
- Cauliflower – Don’t complicate it. Cut into steaks, toss with olive oil and salt, and roast at 425 degrees (F) until golden and crispy.
- Sweet potato – You can make roasted sweet potatoes (no need to peel), OR you can bake them whole. I like to bake them whole because that’s one less pan to clean, but roasting them in chunks does give them a little better flavor and texture.
- Orange – Juicy, sweet and perfect with all the other flavors in this salad.
- Curried chickpeas – These make the salad! Pan, oil, high heat, chickpeas, curry paste, saute until golden, done. Sooo good.
- Pecans – Toast these divas! They deserve the treatment, and you won’t regret the extra 30 seconds it took to throw them on a pan and pop them in the oven.
- Green onions – These seem out of left field, but they provide the perfect amount of bite without being overpowering.
- Dressing – This dressing is so easy because it’s made with my lemon vinaigrette, which I always have on hand, plus a few extra ingredients.
What to serve with this salad
This salad is great on its own, but for something more substantial I like to add seared tofu. It would also be great with your favorite chicken recipe, like this roasted chicken. If you don’t have the time to make another component, serve with a side of warm bread and butter.
The warm sweet potatoes, savory cauliflower, spiced chickpeas, nutty pecans, juicy oranges and tangy dressing make it so this salad tastes more like comfort food than something that’s healthy for you.
So now here I am, two weeks in on this salad, which I guess I’ll stop eating when oranges go out of season and it’s time to welcome spring.
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Winter Salad with Oranges, Pecans and Curried Chickpeas
For the salad
- 2-3 cups kale, torn
- 1/2 cup roasted cauliflower Recipe follows
- 1/3 cup roasted sweet potato, cubed Recipe follows
- 1/2 cup curried chickpeas Recipe follows
- 1 navel orange, sliced in sections
- 2 Tbsp chopped toasted pecans Recipe follows
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced (optional)
- dressing, to taste Recipe follows
For the dressing
- 1 cup Nancy Silverton's lemon vinaigrette https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/little-gem-salad-lemon-vinaigrette
- 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1/4 cup toasted pecans
To make the salad
- Assemble above ingredients in a large bowl and toss together. Enjoy!
To make the roasted cauliflower
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Slice a whole cauliflower into 3/4 in thick steaks. Toss with olive oil and salt and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Roast in oven until golden and tender, about 20 minutes.
To make the roasted sweet potato
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. For cubed roasted sweet potatoes, cut sweet potatoes into small bite-sized pieces. Toss in olive oil and salt and roast on a baking sheet until crispy and browned, around 20-45 minutes, depending on how large your pieces are.For whole roasted sweet potatoes, wash and pierce your sweet potatoes with a fork. Wrap in aluminum foil and bake in the oven on a baking sheet until easily pierced with a knife, between 45-1+ hour. For the salad, wait for the potato to cool. Cut into small bite-sized pieces.
To make the curried chickpeas
- In a large saute pan, heat 2 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil. When hot, add chickpeas and 2 Tbsp of curry paste (green or red). Stir to evenly coat the chickpeas with the curry paste. Saute until the chickpeas are browned, about 3-5 minutes.
To make the toasted pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread pecans evenly on a baking sheet. Toast in oven until fragrant and browned, but not burnt, around 10 minutes.
To make the dressing
- Add the dressing ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. TIP: You'll have extra dressing, so if you have a 32 oz jar, add the ingredients to the jar and blend with an immersion blender. Easy storage!