If you think it’s impossible to make an interesting, seasonal, fresh salad in the winter, you need to try this Citrus Avocado Salad with Feta. It’s loaded with SO MUCH flavor that if you walk away unsatisfied after eating this salad, I would ask that you go check your temperature. Ha!
If you live in a place (as I do) that gets cold in the winter (and I know I can’t complain… it gets much colder in other parts of the world!) and can be a bit (okay, a lot) dreary when the sun hides for days at a time, it can be hard to eat fresh, healthy foods. Comfort foods that are warming and cozy are natural to turn to in the winter, but trust me, eating a salad like this one can brighten any dreary day and make you feel vibrant and healthy at the same time.
We are really blessed to live in a world where, in most places, it’s easy to find fresh seasonal produce all year round. While I don’t live in Florida, I can still find all kinds of luscious citrus fruits in my favorite grocery stores all winter long, and I love taking advantage! I wanted my favorite citrus fruits (grapefruit is one of my favorite fruits, period, as I mentioned in this Beet Green Smoothies post) to be front and center in this salad, and by using a few varieties of citrus fruits, this Citrus Avocado Salad with Feta is rich in both flavor and health-boosting nutrition.
While citrus fruits are not the king of Vitamin C as many people think (bell peppers and strawberries contain more Vitamin C than oranges, for example), they are still a great source of this immune-boosting vitamin, with just 1 orange containing enough Vitamin C to meet about ¾ the recommended daily amount for adults. Citrus fruits are high in flavonoids, that help fight inflammation and act as an antioxidant in the body, both of which can reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and certain brain conditions (such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s).
Besides the healthful citrus fruits in this Citrus Avocado Salad with Feta, the avocado cannot be overlooked for its addition to the nutrition party. Not only does the avocado provide a hefty portion of the fiber in this salad, it also contributes a lot of fat. Now, in case you’re thinking “this dietitian is crazy, trying to tell me that fat is healthy”, hear me out. The fat found in avocado is the type that’s healthy and should be eaten often. That’s right, some types of fat can actually LOWER your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Plus, it helps make this salad more satisfying (both because of the fiber and the fat) so it will stick with you longer to prevent hunger later.
Besides being full of seasonal flavor and super healthy, this salad is about as pretty as it gets, so go ahead and serve it next time you are entertaining. Your guests will be happy!
P.S. If you want to turn this Citrus Avocado Salad with Feta into a main dish salad, top the salad with cooked chicken, broiled salmon, or even smoked salmon.
Citrus Avocado Salad with Feta How-To Photos:
“Pickle” slivered red onion by soaking it in lemon juice.
The Lemon-Mint Vinaigrette for this salad is some of the lemon juice used to soak the onion, olive oil, salt, and fresh mint.
Layer all the salad ingredients on a large platter and drizzle with the Lemon-Mint Vinaigrette.
It’s beautiful enough to serve next time you are entertaining!
- 1/3 cup slivered red onion
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, basil, or flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
- 5 cups mixed salad greens
- 1 grapefruit, peeled, seeded, and sectioned
- 1 blood orange, peeled and sliced crosswise*
- 1 tangerine, peeled and sliced crosswise*
- ½ to 1 avocado, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup crumbled reduced-fat or regular feta cheese
- ¼ cup shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas) or chopped, toasted pistachio nuts
- Freshly ground black pepper
- In a small bowl combine red onion and lemon juice. Toss lightly to coat onion in juice and press down on onion so it’s almost completely covered with the juice. Let stand for at least 20 minutes or up to 1 hour at room temperature (or, cover and chill up to 3 days).
- In a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine mint, olive oil, and salt. Tilt the bowl of pickled red onion a bit and spoon 2 tablespoons of the soaking liquid into the jar with mint mixture (it’s okay if you pick up bits of the onion). Cover jar; shake well.
- Arrange salad greens on a large platter. Top with grapefruit sections, orange and tangerine slices, and avocado slices. Drain the rest of the soaking liquid off the red onion**. Arrange drained red onion slivers atop salad. Sprinkle with feta cheese and pepitas. Drizzle Lemon-Mint Vinaigrette over salad. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. This salad tastes best right away!
- * A serrated knife works best for slicing the orange and tangerine crosswise.
- ** Save the soaking liquid from the onion to make a simple vinaigrette for another meal. Measure the soaking liquid and add about an equal amount of olive oil, a little salt, and a little mustard. Whisk well or combine everything in a small jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake until well combined.
- 4 to 6 servings
- 225 cals, 6 g pro, 19 g carb, 16 g fat, 7 mg cholesterol, 3 g sat fat, 5 g fiber, 242 mg sodium