Vibrant colours and a lively contrast in flavours and textures in this nutritious Watermelon Radish and Satsuma Spinach Salad will brighten any meal.
This spinach salad is bursting with vibrant colour! Sweet Satsuma oranges and maple-glazed pecans give it natural sweetness, while crisp, peppery watermelon radishes add a pop of colour. It’s topped with creamy crumbled goat cheese and tossed with a simple dressing of olive oil and a specialty Cara Cara Orange Vanilla white balsamic vinegar.
Sound good? Ready to brighten your table with a sweet Satsuma orange and watermelon radish spinach salad?
Ingredients for Watermelon Radish and Satsuma Spinach Salad
This spinach salad recipe makes enough for 2 large servings or 4 side salads. You will need:
- a watermelon radish
- Satsuma or Cara Cara oranges or mandarins
- baby spinach
- goat cheese: I like a mild, creamy goat cheese like the Kirkland brand sold at Costco.
- pecans: glazed with a little pure maple syrup and sprinkled with sea salt
- black sesame seeds: for garnish
- extra virgin olive oil
- Cara Cara Orange Vanilla White Balsamic Vinegar: available in specialty olive oil stores, or substitute champagne vinegar, or make a simple Lemon Vinaigrette
What are watermelon radishes? Where do I find them?
Watermelon radishes are a relative of Daikon radishes. They have a peppery flavour that is milder than garden radishes. Their exterior is white and nondescript, but their interior is stunningly pink and magenta. Just like garden radishes, you do not need to peel watermelon radishes unless the exterior has been bruised or damaged.
While you can roast them and serve them as a cooked vegetable, I prefer to serve them raw as I did in this citrus spinach salad. Cooking will dull the colour.
You can find watermelon radishes in specialty grocery stores, like Whole Foods, depending on the time of year.
Tips for making Watermelon Radish and Satsuma Spinach Salad
- It’s best to use a mandoline to slice watermelon radishes, so you can create paper-thin slices. A very sharp knife will also work, but you won’t be able to slice them as thinly. I like to cut the slices in half or roll some of them to make them easier to pick up with a fork.
- While the pith on orange segments can be nutritious, I like to remove it to make salads look more appealing. A gentle scrub with a vegetable brush under running water makes this task easy.
- To make maple-glazed pecans, heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the pecans and maple syrup and heat, swirling the pan and watching closely, as they will burn quickly if left unattended. Once they become fragrant and are beginning to brown, remove the pecans to a piece of parchment paper or a clean plate. Next, sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and set aside to cool.
Possible Substitutions for this Recipe
- I used the most simple dressing possible on this spinach salad recipe! I combined a little olive oil with one of my favourite specialty balsamic vinegars: Cara Cara Orange Vanilla White Balsamic Vinegar. It adds a touch of sweetness and citrus notes to this healthy watermelon radish salad.
- However, you can substitute Champagne Vinegar, or make a simple Lemon Vinaigrette, like I used in this Fennel Apple Chicken Salad with Pumpkin Spice Pecans.
- You can substitute feta cheese for the goat cheese in this recipe.
- Use the sweetest oranges you can find! They make a nice contrast with the peppery radish.
- No pecans? Try Maple-Glazed Walnuts instead.
Arrange the salad ingredients on a platter or on individual serving plates, beginning with a bed of baby spinach leaves, then add radishes, oranges, maple-glazed pecans and crumbled goat cheese. Drizzle or toss with dressing, then garnish with a few black sesame seeds. Serve and devour!
Watermelon Radish and Satsuma Spinach Salad
- 4 cups baby spinach leaves, washed, dried, tough stems removed
- 1 medium watermelon radish
- 2 medium Satsuma oranges, or Cara Cara oranges or mandarins
- 2 oz (60 gm) goat cheese
- 1/4 cup pecans
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- pinch sea salt
- 1 tsp black sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
- 3 tbsp Cara Cara Vanilla White Balsamic Vinegar, or champagne vinegar
- Wash and dry spinach and trim tough stems.
- Using a mandoline or very sharp knife, slice the watermelon radish into paper thin slices.
- Peel oranges and remove as much of the pith as possible. A soft vegetable brush works well for this task.
- To make Maple-Glazed Pecans, heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the pecans and maple syrup and heat, swirling the pan and watching closely, as they will burn quickly if left unattended. Once they become fragrant and are beginning to brown, remove the pecans to a piece of parchment paper or a clean plate. Next, sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and set aside to cool.
- Arrange the salad ingredients on a platter or on individual serving plates, beginning with a bed of baby spinach leaves, then add radishes, oranges, maple-glazed pecans and crumbled goat cheese. Whisk olive oil and white balsamic vinegar together and toss or drizzle on salad. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds. Serve.
More cheerful salad inspiration!
- Kiwi Mandarin Spinach Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
- Winter Citrus Salad with Arugula and Goat Cheese
- 8 Fresh Spring Salads to Brighten Any Meal
- 6 Dinner Salads that Will Fill you Up
- Brussels Sprout Salad with Cranberries and Pecans
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