Spinach & Citrus Salad with Balsamic Honey Vinaigrette

spinach citrus salad

Heyo! Alright so there’s one thing that has been rubbing off on me from working at the sweet shop. Having spent close to a year now making candy and confections almost every day of my life, I’m getting into the more technical aspects of kitchenry. (That’s a word, right?)

Yes it is true! I who have used quite a small bag of tricks and pushed those skills to the max by getting into weird and wonderful ingredients (especially when it comes to produce) am learning some new techniques! For instance, this evening I learned that a vinaigrette is not just a mixture of vinegar and oil and that it is meant to be whipped so that it emulsifies. And that if you add mustard to the vinegar before adding the oil it is an aid in the emulsification. Now that sounds like the kind of talk we talk in the candy shop kitchen. Oh yes. Emulsification is a way of life when you’re making ganache. Or caramel. I was talking about the emulsification of caramel mere hours ago with Rachel.

Side note: caramel and toffee are some of my absolute favourite things to make at work. They smell amazing and I love them. I will write about them on here one day. Unfortunately I will not be able to provide the smell of the caramel on the blog post and you will have to make it yourself to experience that.

Anyway, back to the salad. (Which has some of the colours of caramel, might I add.) This recipe came from the February 2011 issue of Bon Appetit. I have changed it. It was originally a salad with roasted beets and citrus with feta. When I went to make it I realized my beets had gone soft and used butternut squash instead. I also only put orange zest into my dressing, because the grapefruit wasn’t organic and I was drawing the line. And in the end I forgot to crumble feta on top. Feel free to do these things or follow what I did. They would both be yummy.

Vinaigrette Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. finely grated orange peel
  • 2 tsp. finely grated grapefruit peel
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil

Salad Ingredients:

  • 4 small beets or the equivalent amount of butternut squash, roasted
  • 6 oz. spinach, cleaned & dried
  • 2 small pink or ruby grapefruits, supremed (here is a great explanation of my new favourite cooking term)
  • 2 oranges, supremed
  • 3/4 c. crumbed feta cheese (or not, as the case may be)
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh chives

The Vinaigrette

  1. Pour the balsamic vinegar and mustard into a bowl and whisk to combine.
  2. Slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking constantly until they are emulsified.
  3. Stir in the honey and citrus peels and season to taste with salt and pepper.

The Salad

  1. Place the spinach in a large bowl with 2 Tbsp. of the vinaigrette and toss then divide amongst plates.
  2. Put the citrus and root vegetables into the same bowl and toss with another 2 Tbsp. vinaigrette.
  3. Arrange the root veggies and citrus along with the feta and chives on top of the bed of spinach. Add an extra drizzle of vinaigrette if you please.

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