Our blood orange arugula salad, made with pears and a tangy citrus vinaigrette, is a perfect addition to any healthy meal. This was my intention for our Valentine’s Day dinner. Most restaurants are crowded on this day, and let’s just face it: it’s usually too cold to fight the hassle of going out. I asked Jackie if she would allow me to cook Valentine’s dinner for her, and being the amazing woman she is, she said yes. This salad was part of the meal I made for her. It was light, fresh, and delicious. The crisp colors of the fruit made it look as good as it tasted.
When shopping to prepare this meal, I was inspired by the beautiful color of blood oranges. I love to make dishes using seasonal produce, and these oranges really hit the spot. They are a bit more tart than a standard orange, which also provided an ideal base for the vinaigrette. I also loved the idea of adding three different kinds of pears to the arugula salad for color and texture.
This blood orange salad was a hit. The flavors of the tart and crisp fruit blended perfectly with the bite of the arugula, and the pecans added even more complexity. The only thing we were missing was a gorgonzola (which you may choose to add) but we were trying to keep this light and healthy. We do try on occasion!
Please check back for our other dishes that were a part of our Valentine’s Day meal. Hint: they will be perfect for the Lenten season… I think may have created a custom for us of Valentine’s dinner at home. There is nothing better than a romantic home-cooked meal, some wine, candle light, and of course a cuddle with the one you love.
- 6 oz fresh arugula
- 3 blood oranges (grapefruit will work also)
- ¼ C cider vinegar
- ¼ C extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ C diced Bosc pear
- ¼ C diced d'anjou pear
- ¼ C diced Bartlett pear
- ( dice them in ⅛" in pieces and use skin to help with color)
- ½ C chopped pecans
- 1 pinch of garlic powder
- 1 pinch of onion powder
- Squeeze juice from 2 oranges to get ½ C juice into a medium mixing bowl.
- Add vinegar, garlic powder, onion powder salt and pepper and mix together.
- Slowly drizzle olive oil into mixture while whisking quickly.
- Set aside in refrigerator.
- With third orange, cut skin off and cut into sections. Place in large bowl along with diced pears.
- Add arugula and toss to mix together. Slowly drizzle dressing over salad
- Transfer to serving plate(s) and sprinkle diced pecans on top.
- Garnish with blood Orange wedges and serve.