Our Spinach Mandarin Orange Salad brings together a harmonious blend of fresh ingredients and exotic spices. Its nutritional benefits, refreshing flavours, and ease of preparation make it a standout salad that you'll enjoy time and time again.
This scrumptious winter salad features star anise which has a delicate "ouzo" flavour combined with the sweet mandarins, bitter blood oranges and creamy avocado it was just magical.
An ideal salad for people with specific dietary requirements, as it is gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan and paleo-friendly. A vivid colourful salad perfect for brightening up any winter's day.
You Will Need
How to Make It
Let's start by taking out a large mixing bowl to add all the ingredients as we prepare them.
Step 1 - Wash Your Leaves and Herbs
Wash your spinach and dill sprigs, remove any wilted or damaged leaves shake and then either pat dry with a towel or spin dry in a salad spinner to remove excess water.
Finely chop your dill and transfer both to a large mixing bowl.
Step 2 - Peel and Cut Your Citrus and Avocado
Wash and peel your blood oranges and mandarins, being careful to remove as much of the white pith as possible.
Dice your oranges and cut your mandarin slices in half lengthwise.
Wash and peel your avocado, cut into chunks and squeeze some lemon juice on top to prevent browning. Add to your bowl.
Step 3 - Putting It All Together
Add all the vinaigrette ingredients in a glass jar and shake until emulsified.
Pour your vinaigrette over the prepared ingredients in your bowl, season with some sea salt and black pepper.
Toss your salad with your dressing until until well combined. Taste and adjust seasonings according to your taste.
Arrange in a salad bowl, scatter the pistachios on top to garnish and serve.
💡Tips and Questions
What is Star Anise?
One of the key elements that set this salad apart is the inclusion of star anise. This distinct spice boasts a licorice-like flavour that infuses the salad with an enticing and aromatic twist.
If you are unable to find these cute little star-shaped pods in the spice section of your supermarket, you can try substituting their flavour with a splash of ouzo, some Chinese 5 Spice powder or with some fennel seeds.
Can I Use a Different Type of Green Instead of Spinach?
Absolutely! While spinach is the suggested base for its mild flavour and tender texture, you can easily substitute it with other greens like arugula, kale, or mixed baby greens, depending on your preference and availability.
Can I Make This Salad in Advance for a Party or Gathering?
While it's best to assemble the salad just before serving to maintain its freshness and texture, you can prepare the individual components in advance. Keep the dressing separately and toss everything together just before your guests arrive to ensure a crisp and flavourful salad.
Can I Make This Salad Ahead for Meal Prep?
While this salad is best enjoyed fresh, you can prepare the ingredients separately and store them in airtight containers for up to 2-3 days. Assemble the salad with the dressing just before consuming it to maintain its texture and taste.
Can I Add Some Extra Protein?
Of course! If you prefer to add some protein to the salad, grilled chicken or shrimp would be a delicious addition.
For vegan and vegetarian eaters then some crispy tofu or some edamame and chickpeas would also work.
The mild flavours of the spinach and oranges will complement the protein, creating a well-balanced and satisfying meal.
Try Some More of Our Mandarin Salad Recipes
- Salad Spinner
- 4 large mandarins (approximately 500 grams / 17.6 ounces)
- 2 small orange, navel or blood (300 grams / 10.6 ounces)
- 3 cups baby spinach (approximately 90 grams / 3.2 ounces)
- 1 medium avocado (approximately 215 grams / 7.6 ounces)
- ⅓ cup pistachio kernels
- 3 sprigs dill or fennel
- ¼ cup avocado oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
- 2 tablespoons mandarin juice, fresh (juice from 1 medium mandarin)
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon star anise, ground*
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Wash your spinach and dill, pat dry with a towel or spin in a salad spinner to remove excess water. Finely chop your dill and add them both to a large mixing bowl.3 cups baby spinach, 3 sprigs dill or fennel
- Wash and peel all your oranges and mandarins, dice the oranges and cut the mandarins in half lengthwise.4 large mandarins, 2 small orange, navel or blood
- Peel and cut your avocado into chunks and squeeze on some lemon juice to prevent browning add to your bowl.1 medium avocado
- Add all the vinaigrette ingredients in a glass jar and shake until emulsified.¼ cup avocado oil, 2 tablespoons mandarin juice, fresh, 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, ½ teaspoon star anise, ground*, Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Season your salad, pour the dressing over the top and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Arrange in a salad bowl, scatter the pistachios on top to garnish then serve immediately.⅓ cup pistachio kernels
- Can be found in the spice section of most major supermarkets.