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It is now almost the end of October which means we are getting close to prime orange season! I love all of the citrusy winter fruits. They’re delicious in salads, drinks, or just on their own! I particularly enjoy blood oranges because they have such a pretty color and tasty flavor. Try this blood orange salad with blood orange vinaigrette with your next meal for a tasty, seasonal side dish! This salad is topped with juicy, blood oranges, crisp apples, buttery candied pecans, and a homemade vinaigrette that is made with a very unique blood orange fused olive oil!
Where to Get Blood Orange Olive Oil
This summer, Nathan and I decided to go on a “mystery trip” for our summer vacation. You know, those trips where someone plans the whole thing for you and you don’t find out where you’re going until you get to the airport? Yeah. It was a struggle for someone who likes to have control over her vacations! Anyway, we ended up in Boise, Idaho which was such a fun place to visit (more on this later!). While we were there, we discovered Olivin, a nice little oil and vinegar shop in downtown Boise. We sampled many of their delicious products, but ended up with a bottle of their blood orange fused olive oil. This is such a versatile oil that would be great in cakes, pancakes, and marinades, but I have been dying to try it in a salad dressing.
What is a “Fused” Oil?
You may have noticed above that I called this oil a blood orange “fused” olive oil. I didn’t know this before, but there are two different types of oils – fused and infused! While we were shopping at Olivin, we learned a thing or two about oils that you might find interesting!
- “Infused” olive oils are made by adding dried herbs to the oil and letting it sit for awhile.
- “Fused” oils, on the other hand, are made by crushing the olives and fruit (or herbs or veggies) together from the very start of the olive oil making process to create a bold flavor.
Pretty neat, eh? If you’re nerdy (like me) and want to learn more about different oils, you can head over to Olivin’s website. And if you’d like to try out the blood orange fused oil, you can purchase it on their site as well! Now, onto the recipe!
How to make Blood Orange Salad and Blood Orange Vinaigrette
The thought of “blood” oranges may sound scary (you know, anything with “blood” in the name sounds a little scary!), but they are actually quite tasty! These juicy oranges are sweeter than a normal orange and have a nice, fruity flavor (almost like a raspberry or cranberry flavor). You will find these in season from December through May, and they make an excellent salad! When choosing oranges for your blood orange salad be sure that they:
- Are heavy for their size. Blood oranges that are more dense have better juice and flavor!
- Have a considerable amount of red on the skin. This tells you that the inside has a nice, ruby red flesh.
For this blood orange salad, I made a vinaigrette using the blood orange fused oil paired with other fall and winter flavors such as maple syrup and apple cider vinegar. The result was a nice, tangy dressing. I drizzled the vinaigrette over some leafy butter lettuce topped with candied pecans, apples, a bit of feta and, of course, blood orange slices! The mix of the citrus flavor and tartness from the apple cider vinegar really complimented the sweetness of the pecans and apples. Enjoy this yummy blood orange salad with any of your dinners next week!
Blood Orange Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette
Blood Orange Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup blood orange fused olive oil (can purchase through Olivin website)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
Buttered Candied Pecans
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup chopped pecans
Blood Orange Salad
- 5 oz butter lettuce (or any lettuce you like)
- 1 blood orange, peeled and sliced
- 1 apple, chopped
- 1/4 cup feta cheese
For the Blood Orange Vinaigrette
- Combine all ingredients into a mason jar or salad dressing bottle. Shake with lid on until well mixed
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to a week
For the Buttered Candied Pecans
- Heat 2 tbsp. of butter over medium heat in a skillet until melted
- Add in 1/4 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 tsp of salt. Stir until well combined
- Add in 1 cup of pecans to the butter and sugar mixture. Stir to coat pecans
- Cook pecans for 3 – 5 minutes, stirring often until fragrant and crunchy
- Cool pecans on a large piece of parchment paper on the counter. Once cooled, break apart until crumbly
- Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days
For the Blood Orange Salad
- Peel the blood orange and cut into small slices
- Core and chop the apple into small, bite sized pieces
- Combine butter lettuce, blood orange slices, apple slices, candied pecans, feta cheese and blood orange vinaigrette in a bowl. Toss to coat all ingredients and serve immediately
- For the buttered, candied pecans: You may use other nuts such as almonds or walnuts if you wish!
- For a more flavorful vinaigrette: If you like more of a bold, blood orange flavor in your dressing, you may use 1/2 cup of the blood orange oil instead of mixing 1/4 cup blood orange oil and 1/4 cup of normal oil. This oil is quite powerful so I only used a 1/4 cup mixed with 1/4 of the normal olive oil. But feel free to adjust the ratios if you would like!
- Substitution for Olivin Blood Orange Olive Oil: Use 1/4 cup regular olive oil, 1 tsp. blood orange zest and 2 tbsp blood orange juice in place of the Olivin Blood Orange Olive Oil.