This gorgeous Citrus Salad with a Poppy Seed Vinaigrette is a delectable blend of bright, juicy citrus fruits paired with salad greens, fresh mint, and crunchy fennel. It's simple to make, beautiful to look at, and delicious to eat.
It happens every year around this same time that I get very disgruntled about the weather. It's starting to get warmer, but not fast enough. Spring feels close but so far away, and yet I'm dying to start planting in the garden right now! This Citrus Salad is my meal time compromise.
It's so bright and fresh, with the juicy citrus fruits, tangy pomegranate, and all the crunchy greens and fresh mint. Yes, it's still a winter citrus salad, but it's just bright and fresh enough to keep me satisfied until it's time for strawberries and sunshine again. It's a very tasty compromise.
What's In a Citrus Salad?
The key ingredients in a Citrus Salad are the citrus fruits. Using a blend of citrus will add more color and flavor to the salad. In this salad, I used a blend of Ruby Red Grapefruit, Oranges, and Mandarins (Clementines).
You can also look for Blood Oranges, Cara Cara Oranges, Tangerines, or White Grapefruit. Just be sure to look for a blend that will showcase several different colors as well as varying levels of sweetness.
In addition to the citrus, there are fresh greens (Boston Lettuce and Arugula) that form the base of the salad. To add an extra burst of flavor and crunch, this Citrus Salad also includes thinly sliced fresh Fennel and Fresh mint. Sliced avocado pairs so well with the citrus flavors and makes the salad a little heartier.
To finish the gorgeous side dish off, it’s topped with slivered almonds, juicy pomegranate arils, and a simple but tasty Poppy Seed Vinaigrette. It’s only a handful of ingredients, but together, they make a mouthwatering salad
Poppy Seed Dressing
This Poppy Seed Vinaigrette has made more than one appearance on salads here over the years (like this Strawberry Bacon Spinach Salad). Not only is it a crowd pleaser, it's also one of my personal favorite salad dressings. It just tastes so good!
It's a perfect blend of sweet and tangy, with both maple syrup and vinegar, with a hint of onion and mustard. It's so delicious on this Citrus Salad and the addition of the poppy seeds adds a beautiful visual element too.
This is one salad + dressing combination you don't want to miss!
How to Make a Citrus Salad
This type of salad is called a "composed salad" because it's intentionally composed on a platter to showcase the fruits. You can compose salads on individual plates for single servings, or as one big salad on a platter. If you're composing the salad buffet style, just be sure to get a little bit of everything when you serve up.
I love a composed salad because it's so visually appealing - art on the table - and when food is beautiful, I definitely think it tastes better!
Here are a few tips for making this Citrus Salad:
- Start by layering your greens in the platter. You can also mix in a little bit of fresh mint with the lettuce and arugula.
- When you're preparing the citrus, make sure to remove all the white pith (it has a bitter taste)
- Layer the citrus on the greens, using the different sizes and colors together for a more pleasing presentation.
- Slice your avocado into long thin slices and fan them out.
- Tuck in the sliced fennel around the citrus.
- To top the salad off, sprinkle with slivered almonds, pomegranate arils, and some more fresh mint.
- Don't add the dressing until just before serving.
A composed citrus salad looks like a work of art, but it really is so easy to put together!
- 1 large head Boston Living Lettuce
- 1 generous handful Arugula leaves
- 2 Navel Oranges (peeled and thinly sliced)
- 2 Clementine Oranges (peeled and thinly sliced)
- 1 large Ruby Red Grapefruit (peeled and thinly sliced)
- 1 Avocado
- 1 small bulb Fresh fennel, thinly sliced
- ½ cup Pomegranate Arils
- ⅓ cup slivered almonds
- Handful of Fresh Mint Leaves
FOR THE DRESSING
- 2 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- ⅓ cup grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil, like canola)
- 2 tablespoons grated red onion
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- Make the dressing: In a mason jar or small bowl, combine all of the dressing ingredients and shake or whisk until well combined. Taste and adjust for desired sweetness. Dressing will keep in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to a week.
- Assemble the Salad: Layer the lettuce and arugula in serving dish. Top with citrus, then avocado slices and fennel slices. Sprinkle with fresh mint, pomegranate, and almonds. Add dressing just before serving.
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