Winter salads are just as fun as summer salads, I promise! This Arugula Orange salad is loaded with lettuce, arugula, pomegranates, vegan feta, avocado, candied pecans and beautiful slices of orange. The homemade salad dressing is what really brings it all together though, The citrus salad dressing is smooth, creamy and tangy. It has orange juice, maple syrup, tahini, and garlic. This salad dressing recipe is vegan, gluten free and uses minimal ingredients. This tahini dressing would be perfect on your Christmas dinner table or just to snack on for the rest of the winter months.
Why We Love This Citrus Dressing Recipe
- Pomegranates. The little pop of juice you get from each bite with pomegranate makes this orange salad so fun and fresh.
- Simple To Make. The citrus salad dressing comes together with ease. Tahini is the star of the dressing but it is balanced out nicely by the maple syrup, garlic and orange juice and then thinned out with a splash of water for the perfect consistency.
- A New Winter Salad. This tahini dressing recipe is paired really well with the other salad ingredients. The vegan feta, candied pecans, pomegranate and orange balance out the tangy and nuttiness of the dressing.
How To Make Citrus Salad Dressing
To make this citrus salad dressing you need 5 ingredients: tahini, maple syrup, orange juice, garlic (finely chopped) and water (to thin).
- Add all the ingredients to a small bowl and whisk until smooth.
- Start with 1/4 cup of water to help thin the dressing. Depending on the thickness of your tahini, you may need to add 1-4 tbsp more water or until your desired consistency has formed.
- Once you are good with the consistency, drizzle that dressing over the other orange salad ingredients.
How To Make Candied Pecans
The tahini dressing recipe is pretty magical in this winter salad, but we can’t forget about the sweet and crunchy candied pecans. I’m a big fan when candied pecans appear in any salad. You need 3 ingredients for this candied pecan recipe: coconut oil, maple syrup, and pecans.
- Heat a pan over medium-low heat.
- Add in the coconut oil. Let it melt before adding the maple syrup and pecans.
- Once everything is in the pan, toss the pecans until they are evenly coated with the maple syrup and coconut oil. Let cook for 5 minutes, tossing and stirring regularly. When the pecan coating starts to caramelize, place a piece of parchment paper on the counter.
- Pour the pecans on the parchment paper and let cool. Try to separate the pecans so they aren’t touching one another or they will stick together.
- Once they have cooled, add them to the salad.
Top Tricks For Making This Healthy Dressing
- Mix it well. Whisk. Whisk. And whisk some more. You want this citrus salad dressing to be smooth. If you are against whisking, add it to a food processor.
- The consistency is up to you. If you want a thinner consistency, add more water, one tablespoon at a time.
- Fresh orange juice is best, but store-bought works here as well.
- Store any leftovers in the fridge.
More Vegan Salad Recipes
Citrus Salad Dressing
- 3 cup arugula
- 3 cups chopped romaine
- 1/4 cup vegan feta
- 1 orange (thinly sliced)
- 1 pomegranate
- 1 avocado
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tbsp orange juice
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/4 cup water (plus more to thin)
- Start with preparing the pecans. Heat a pan over medium heat. Add the coconut oil and let it melt. Then add the pecans and the maple syrup. Toss until the pecans are covered with the oil and maple syrup. Cook for roughly 5 minutes, stirring often so the bottoms do not burn. Once the pecans have caramelized, place a piece of parchment paper down on the counter and transfer the pecans to it. Ideally, separate the pecans from one another so they don't clump together. Let cool before adding to the salad.
- Prepare the dressing. Finely chop the garlic, and then add all the dressing ingredients together. Start with 1/4 cup of water and add more depending on the consistency you desire. Whisk until smooth. Set aside.
- Add washed and chopped arugula and romaine to a salad bowl. Top with the feta and avocado. Peel and then thinly slice the orange. Remove the pomegranate seeds from their outer shell (the messy part). Add the cooled pecans.
- Toss the salad in the salad dressing and serve immediately. If not eating right away, wait to add the avocado.
- Store any leftovers of the citrus salad dressing in the fridge.