Naturally sweet, tangy, and low-oil, this happy orange vinaigrette is a great citrus-season salad dressing. Try it on my favorite antioxidant salad!
One of my favorite salads to grab while I’m out and about here in Santa Barbara is the Superfood Salad from The Honey Bee. I feel like The Honey Bee just gets me. The menu is filled with nourishing items that are so similar to what I make myself at home. They even have a Yellow Curry Bowl just like mine! Back to the superfood salad… It’s packed with quinoa, kale, berries, avocado, and slivered almonds, with a lemon poppy seed dressing. When I can’t get downtown I like to recreate this salad for myself for lunch. My only switch up is to use a homemade orange vinaigrette. The great thing about using orange juice as the base for dressings is that it’s naturally sweet, so you need very little additional sweetener. This is such a bright and sunny salad and homemade dressing, I know you’re going to love it. And the superfood salad is filled with fiber, protein, and you know it’s got tons of vitamins going on with all those colors. But of course you can use this orange vinaigrette any way you like.
February means citrus season here, so my counter holds a big bowl of oranges, lemons, and grapefruit. Orange juice makes a great base for salad dressings. It’s naturally sweet, a little acidic, and can make up the bulk of a vinaigrette without tons of oil. In fact, you don’t have to use any oil, if you don’t want. So many store-bought salad dressings are filled with confusing gums, fillers, low-quality sweeteners and oils, and preservatives. Making homemade salad dressings is so quick and easy, that I definitely recommend homemade when possible. I throw all the ingredients for this orange vinaigrette into the blender and it’s done in just a minute. If you do food-prep on Sundays, adding a new dressing each week might be fun.
I’ve used kale as the greens here and I have a few tips to making a really delicious kale salad. First, remove the leafy parts from the stems and chop it into small bits. Kale is tougher than most greens, so small pieces are best. Second, kale needs a good massage to loosen up (as do I). Don’t be shy, you’ve got to use your hands to work the orange vinaigrette into all the nooks and crannies. This massage will really soften up the kale and make it so much more delicious.
Once I’ve massaged plenty of the orange vinaigrette into the kale, I add it to a bowl and top it with all these amazingly beautiful superfoods. Drizzle the whole thing with a little more of my homemade orange vinaigrette and it’s done. This would be a great take-to-work lunch, as kale can handle sitting in dressing all day without wilting the way other leafy greens do.
- 1 small shallot, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- zest of 1 orange
- 2 tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- squeeze of fresh lemon
- 1 tablespoon honey or agave syrup
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Place shallot, garlic, orange juice, orange zest, vinegar, salt, pepper, mustard, lemon juice, and honey in the blender. Blend until the shallot is very finely chopped. Slowly blend in olive oil. Transfer to a storage jar and keep refrigerated.
- To make the superfood salad pictured in this post, add chopped kale to a bowl. Massage in the vinaigrette (don’t skip this step as it makes the kale tender and delicious). Top with cooked quinoa, toasted slivered almonds, sunflower seeds, blueberries, strawberries, avocado, and orange segments.
*Oil-Free Option: You "can" omit the oil, though the dressing will be thinner. One way to make this dressing thicker is to blend in a tablespoon or two of plain yogurt (non-dairy).
*I do my best to calculate approximate nutrition information for my readers who like it. However, I can’t guarantee accuracy as I’m not a nutritionist and I use a third party site. If your health depends on nutrition information, please use your favorite calculator to re-calculate. Information is based on 1/8 of this recipe.
Yield: about 1 cup, Serving Size: 1/8 recipe
- Amount Per Serving:
- Calories: 74