Joy the Baker

Spinach Feta Blood Orange Salad

January 2, 2012


My grandmother used to have a house dress, house hair, and house shoes.  She made no apologies for boiling her fresh vegetables half way to kingdom come.  She sat with her Bible at every spare moment.

I… well, I have a house sweater.  It’s big and grey with floppy sleeves and giant buttons.  It’s just a house sweater, unless of course I decide that it can handle a quick trip to the store or a quick meet with a friend.  It really should stay in the house, as beat up and unattractive as it is… but sometimes it’s just too warm and cozy to part with.  I don’t even want to talk about introducing the house sweater to someone that you’re dating.  That’s a whole other beast to tackle.

My grandmother would support my house sweater.  She’d nod in quiet understanding.  She’d also love that I have her Bible on my nightstand, and I read and reread all the bits she underlined in red pen.  This salad?  She would not understand.  It’s entirely too fresh and crisp and… unboiled.  I suppose that’s the difference between her Tennessee blood and my California living.



Blood oranges are here and I couldn’t be happier.  Every orange is different.  The red tinting can be subtle or totally bonkers.  Beauty fruit.  I’m so into it!


I combined sweet blood oranges with creamy avocado, salty feta cheese, and crunchy sunflower seeds.

Spinach too.  Fully of flavor and health.  On the real.


This is the sort of salad that you can eat and feel like you’re indulging in a good life.  Not like you’re on a diet.  Not like you’re depriving yourself of peanut butter cups.  This salad is a treat in itself… and totally justify peanut butter cups for dessert.


This salad was inspired by a really lovely book.  Tender by Nigel Slater.  It’s like an encyclopedia for vegetables with gorgeous, simple, indulgent recipes for each vegetable.  I love the photographs and recipe lay outs.  Very laid back and personal, but beautifully intentional.  The man knows has a gorgeous respect for food.

Thanks sister!  Major gift!

This recipe is in paragraph form… that means take it easy and enjoy the process.  Just go with it.  Don’t have feta cheese?  Try goat cheese crumbles.  No sunflower seeds?  Toasted walnuts would be lovely.  No blood oranges?  Grapefruit is the way to go!

Spinach Feta Blood Orange Salad

inspired by Tender

Print this Recipe!

Spinach is beautifully matched with citrus and salty feta cheese.

For each person, portion about two handfuls of clean, baby spinach.  Peel and thickly slice a blood orange, or whatever citrus you have on hand.  Catch as much of the juice as you can and pour it back over the salad with a good drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of fresh cracked black pepper.  Toss the spinach with oranges, sliced avocado, a hearty portion of feta cheese crumbles and sunflower seeds.  Serve immediately and enjoy.  

154 Comments Add A Comment

  • It’s scorching hot in Australia at the moment and this salad could be just what the doctor ordered. I totally froze some blood oranges in winter for some unknown reason. I love it when Past Amanda looks out for Present Amanda. She’s pretty awesome like that.

  • I’ve never had a blood orange before! Holy frijoles, those babes are one sexy fruit. Thanks for the recipe!

  • This post came at the perfect time. I wanted to make a salad with our filet mignon tonight and I had all the ingredients. The whole family enjoyed it. Thanks for a great recipe to add to my JTB favorites.

  • Don’t you love when you do something, or wear something, or cook something and you are instantly reminded of your grandmother. For me, I am back in my grandmothers kitchen, when I smell onions and tomatoes cooking….or bacon :) Thanks for sharing!

  • Like this new combination but never tried spinach with orange..
    Goona do this experiment today only.

  • Hi Joy,
    What a pretty looking salad:) Love it.

  • Your pictures of the blood oranges are just wonderful – I love the vibrant colour and they really capture the essence of the fruit. This salad sounds amazing too, just the best combination of flavours!

  • I love everything about this. I am obsessed with blood oranges, I have a southern grandmother, and I have a gigantic green cardigan that I only wear in the house (and occasionally on dog walks). Also I love Nigel Slater. He is also the editor of Observer Food Monthly Magazine (Check it out! I don’t know if you can buy it there, but I’m sure you can access it online.)

  • Y.U.M.M.Y. and such a great start into the new year. the nigel slater book looks and sounds amazing {it will be on my amazon wishlist in a sec}

  • This salad looks amazing – it combines everything I love! And I absolutely adore blood oranges, too. They are beautiful. :)

  • I’m so excited about the arrival of blood oranges and can’t wait to start using them in my cooking. This salad looks gorgeous – perfect for detox in the New Year :-)

  • I love how laid-back this recipe is! Perfect for a nice, relaxing start to the new year :)

  • That photo is stunning!

    I have the Bible that my grandmother gave my grandpa before he went to Pearl Harbor. It has a thick metal cover and she told me that it goes in a pocket of his uniform that was over his heart. The metal cover is supposed to be bullet-proof and it would protect his heart if needed. Luckily, it was not needed!

    small typo: “She’d nod iN quiet understanding’ Sorry to be annoying and point out typos :/ I really like you! :)

  • i love blood oranges! at the 2008 oscars i made “there will be blood oranges” salad for my viewing party.

  • This looks like the juiciest, most succulent salad I could ever imagine!! I’ve heard RAVE reviews about Tender as well–you’ve got a gem on your hands (book AND sister), and I can’t wait to see more inspired recipes :)

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