A winter favorite, this tangy arugula citrus salad with a quick grapefruit vinaigrette is a simple, refreshing side dish. The orange grapefruit salad is complete with citrus fruits, arugula, creamy goat cheese, and pink pepper for big flavor.
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Easy citrus salad recipe
One of the things I love about winter is the abundance of fresh citrus fruits. Oranges, grapefruits, blood oranges, tangerines… I’m here for it this time of year. I’m such a massive fan of citrus season!
And one of the dishes I like to make over and over again is this light and fresh arugula citrus salad. The salad incorporates citrus fruits in a few different ways.
The recipe combines arugula (or any lettuce of the season) with orange and grapefruit wedges. We also incorporate orange juice and grapefruit juice in a tangy vinaigrette, the perfect blend of sweet and savory.
The crumbled goat cheese adds a touch of creaminess, while the pink pepper deliciously contrasts the sweetness of the oranges. Sounds pretty delicious, right?
This post was originally published in December 2016. It was updated in January 2022 with new photos, additional instructions, and helpful tips.
Why you’ll love this citrus salad
- Refreshing: This winter citrus salad is bursting with citrus fruits in every bite! Fresh, tangy, sweet, and zesty are just a few of the words I’d use to describe this sliced citrus salad.
- Bold flavor: The combination of aromas is incredible, and it’s such a great recipe for winter when citrus fruits are in season and affordable.
- Citrus dressing: I prefer to make my own dressings, especially since store-bought products can be quite pricey.
- Easy: Plus, this citrus salad with arugula is so simple to make. Cut the oranges and grapefruit, toss them together with arugula and goat cheese, and whip up a simple vinaigrette.
Citrus salad ingredients
Because this simple salad uses relatively few materials, you want to use the best produce you can find. Depending on where you live, you might find even locally grown citrus fruits on farmer’s markets. Here’s the shopping list:
- Citrus fruits: Use your favorite citrus fruits. Oranges, grapefruit, blood oranges would all be perfect for this salad. You can experiment with the flavors by using special varieties such as navel oranges or cara caras.
- Arugula: Peppery arugula builds a nice backdrop for the citrus aromas. You need a large bunch arugula leaves, I usually opt for baby arugula.
- Goat cheese is my go-to for this simple salad recipe. The creamy texture mellows out some of the tart citrus aromas and adds intrigue to the flavor profile.
- Olive oil is needed to make the dressing.
- Pink Pepper adds a pop of color and introduces a peppery bite with a subtle fruity flavor. I crushed whole peppercorns, and ground pink pepper is fine as well.
How to make arugula citrus salad
Citrus arugula salad comes together so quickly! You’ll be eating orange grapefruit salad in no time; simply follow these easy steps.
Step 1: Cut citrus wedges
To cut the citrus fruits, trim off the top and bottom of the oranges and grapefruits. Peel the citrus fruit by cutting away the skin and pith – that’s the white part underneath the skin. Try to follow the shape of the fruit. Then cut the foot into thin slices and remove any seeds.
Step 2: Make the dressing
To make the dressing, mix together the olive oil and orange juice. Season with salt and pepper according to your personal preference. 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper is a good starting point.
Step 3: Assemble the salad
Add the arugula, orange rounds, grapefruit slices, crumbled goat cheese, and pink pepper into a large salad bowl or arrange on a serving platter. Drizzle on the dressing and gently toss the salad together.
Step 4: Garnish
For a decorative effect, garnish the salad with extra citrus slices, goat cheese crumbs, and peppercorns. Serve immediately and enjoy with fresh bread.
Citrus salad is easy to adjust to your taste and perfectness. Have a look at these variations!
- Lettuce: If preferred, substitute arugula with lettuce such as bibb, butterhead, romaine, Batavia, or winter mix.
- Cheese: I used goat cheese for this recipe but feel free to change things up and use a flavored or marinated feta, mozzarella, or burrata.
- Fruit: You can easily pair this citrus arugula salad with other winter fruits such as pomegranate seeds or avocado.
- Protein: To make this a main dish, try adding a protein like roasted chicken, grilled shrimp, tofu, or lentils.
- Toppings: Roasted nuts or crips croutons will add a nice crunch and texture to the recipe. Try 1/2 cup cashews, pecans, or walnuts.
Make orange arugula salad ahead of time
Like most salads, this arugula and orange salad tastes best when you make it right before serving. However, you can prepare different components in advance:
- Vinaigrette: You can mix the dressing ahead of time and store it in an airtight jar at room temperature.
- Oranges + grapefruits: The citrus fruit can be peeled and sliced ahead of time. Keep them in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
- Cheese: You can also crumble or cube the goat cheese and refrigerate it until you’re ready to assemble the salad.
Leftover arugula orange salad should be stored in the fridge and consumed the next day. Arugula is quite fragile and will get soggy after a while. If possible, dress the salad right before serving.
- 5 oz / 150 g baby arugula (full-grown is fine, too. Can also sub for mixed lettuce of the season or baby spinach)
- 3 oranges
- 2 grapefruits
- 4 oz / 120 g goat cheese, crumbled (can sub for feta, burrata, or mozzarella)
- 1 tbsp pink peppercorns
- 3 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- fine sea salt, to taste
- Cut citrus wedges. To cut the citrus, trim off the top and bottom of the oranges and grapefruits. Peel the citrus fruit by cutting away the skin and pith – that’s the white part underneath the skin. Try to follow the shape of the fruit. Then cut the foot into thin slices and remove any seeds.
- Make the dressing. To make the dressing, mix together the olive oil and orange juice. Season with salt and pepper according to your personal preference. 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper is a good starting point.
- Assemble the salad. Add the arugula, orange rounds, grapefruit slices, crumbled goat cheese, and pink pepper into a large salad or mixing bowl. Drizzle on the dressing and gently toss the salad together.
- Garnish. For a decorative effect, garnish the salad with extra citrus slices, goat cheese crumbs, and peppercorns. Serve immediately and enjoy with fresh bread.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 321Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 295mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 5gSugar: 19gProtein: 9g