Winter Salad with Citrus Dressing from the Vanilla Bean Blog

Every week, we’re spotlighting a different food blogger who’s shaking up the blogosphere with tempting recipes and knockout photography. Here, Sarah Kieffer of The Vanilla Bean Blog brings us a bright, citrusy salad dressing to pep up even the gloomiest winter day.


Photo: The Vanilla Bean Blog

Citrus Dressing
Serves 4 to 6

This dressing is on the sweet side. You can tone it down as much as you’d like—there is a lot of room for adjustment here. If you are trying to cut back on sugar, add it 1 tablespoon at a time to the juice and oil mixture until you get a balance you like. I usually use equal amounts of all three ingredients with the tarter citrus (lemon, grapefruit, and limes), and less sugar with the orange dressing. I really prefer Meyer lemons in a lemon dressing, but regular lemons are delicious, too. Honey works well as a replacement for the sugar, just remember you will want to use less, since it has a stronger flavor. A teaspoon or two of poppy seeds would be a nice add-in.

1/3 cup fresh squeezed citrus juice (from oranges, lemons, limes, or grapefruit)
2 to 5 Tbsp. sugar or honey, depending on your preference
1/3 cup olive or canola oil

Mix or shake ingredients together. This dressing is delightful on the salad below.

Sautéed Swiss Chard Salad with Dried Cherries, Goat Cheese, and Pine Nuts
Serves 4

Olive oil
2 bunches Swiss chard, stems and center ribs cut out and chopped, and leaves coarsely chopped separately
3/4 cup Citrus Dressing (above)
Handful of dried cherries
1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
Crumbled goat cheese, to taste
Pepper, to taste

In a medium skillet, heat up 4 teaspoons of olive oil. Add the chard stems and centers and sauté until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the leaves and pour 4 to 6 tablespoons of the dressing over them. Sauté until leaves are wilted and tender, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the dried cherries and cook for a minute until warm. Turn off the heat and add 4 to 6 more tablespoons of dressing, tossing lightly to combine. Move chard to a bowl or plates and top with pine nuts and crumbled goat cheese, to taste. Add a little pepper if desired.

More salad tales:

The most glamorous salad you ever did see

Here’s how to make a better salad

Turns out you can put granola on a salad

What’s your favorite kind of salad dressing? Tell us below!