This post has been sponsored by Emerald® Nuts. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Salad lovers, rejoice! This one is for you. (And for me.) You are going to fall head over heels for this Grilled Citrus Spring Salad. Tender spring greens are topped with seasonal veggies, a homemade warm citrus vinaigrette, feta cheese, and scrumptious glazed pecans. This salad has flavor, texture, crunch…and a few surprises.
Grilled Citrus Spring Salad
This spring salad makes me so happy! It is filling, nutritious, and bursting with the flavors of the season. A trip through the local market inspired us to put together a gorgeous green salad with fresh asparagus, garden radishes, and sweet green peas.
Of course, we can’t stop there. We have a fun grilled citrus twist and homemade vinaigrette to tell you about. But first, let’s talk about what gives this salad texture and crunch: Emerald® Glazed Pecans.
Glazed pecans add the perfect touch of sweetness to this salad. Emerald Glazed Nuts are an easy topping to give all of your salads that exciting flavor everyone craves.
- Emerald Glazed Pecans
- Oranges + lemons
- Spring salad greens
- Feta cheese
- Cider vinegar
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt + cracked black pepper
If you prefer, check out Emerald Glazed Walnuts instead. So delicious! They also offer Honey Glazed Cashews, Honey Roasted VA Peanuts and Honey Glazed Almonds. All of these premium nuts are great for snacking, entertaining, and recipes.
So what’s the big deal about grilling citrus fruit?
Guys. You have to try this. Grilling citrus fruit does so many things to fresh oranges and lemons. First, it gives them a gorgeous and vibrant color that looks amazing on your salads and other dishes.
Grilling fruit also enhances and deepens the natural sweet flavor. Plus, it makes the oranges and lemons juicier.
The best part? The grilled fruit has a smoky, slightly charred essence that adds depth to whatever you are using them in. For this spring salad recipe, we used the grilled fruit to create a tangy Grilled Citrus Vinaigrette. We also arranged them on the salad for a gorgeous and edible garnish.
How to Make Grilled Citrus Spring Salad:
- First, prepare all of your vegetables as noted in the recipe at the bottom of this post. Set aside.
- Then, heat your grill to 400 degrees. Make sure it is cleaned and oiled.
- Next, place the citrus slices and wedges on the grill. Grill each side for a minute or two. All you are looking for is to warm them through and get gorgeous grill marks.
- Transfer the grilled oranges and lemons to a dish and set aside.
- To prepare the easy vinaigrette, combine warm orange juice, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, honey, cider vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper, and a bit of citrus zest in a small jar. Shake well.
- Arrange a large serving platter or bowl with the spring greens and grilled citrus slices.
- In a smaller bowl, toss the radishes, asparagus, and peas with 1/4 cup of the prepared vinaigrette. Scoop the vegetables and arrange on the bed of salad greens.
- Top the salad with a generous amount of glazed pecans and sprinkle with feta cheese crumbles. Finally, serve with additional dressing if desired.
Don’t you adore this recipe? This is the perfect spring salad to serve alongside your favorite grilled entree. Just pop the fruit on the grill for a minute or two, then prepare the vinaigrette and salad while someone else grills the steak.
TIP: Be sure to oil your grill because the orange and lemon slices may stick slightly. Our advice is to be gentle when you turn them and remove them from the grill.
The combination of this sweet + tangy homemade dressing with the sweet crunch of the pecans, savory saltiness of the feta, and crunch of the spring veggies is the ultimate bite.
This salad is best served at room temperature. I like to prepare the veggies and vinaigrette ahead of time and let them marinate together. Then, before serving, I spoon the vegetables onto the bed of salad greens and top with feta and lots of pecans.
Tips + Ideas for a great Spring Salad:
- Use the freshest produce you can find for the best tasting salad.
- Check out your local farmer’s market for seasonal additions.
- Keep it fuss-free. This salad has a lot going on, but at the heart of it all is simple ingredients and simple flavors—prepared and served SIMPLY.
- Try this recipe using grilled grapefruit or tangerines for a more complex flavor profile.
- Can you eat the grilled fruit? Yes! Grilling the oranges and lemons softens up the rind. Some people do not like the bitterness of the lemons, so start them with the orange instead. So delicious.
- The Grilled Citrus Vinaigrette also makes a fantastic marinade for chicken and shrimp.
- Serve this spring salad “DIY Style” by assembling all of the ingredients, cheese, dressing, and Glazed Pecans “bar style”, and let everyone build their own salad. (Me? I’m extra nuts, extra cheese, and extra dressing.)
- If you love a wilted salad, toss the greens and everything together while the dressing is still warm. DIVINE!
Grilled Citrus Spring Salad is nice enough to serve at a dinner party, too. Serve along with your favorite chilled wine, crostini bread, and a charcuterie of Emerald Glazed Nuts, cheeses, and fruit. Perfection.
p.s. Grilled Citrus fruits make excellent mocktails + cocktails, too. Tell everyone you got the idea from a friend.
Look for the selection of Emerald Glazed Nuts at your local grocer or online. (Did I mention they make excellent snacks for the chef?)
Grilled Citrus Spring Salad
Bursting with flavor, crunch, and texture, this gorgeous spring salad features a homemade Grilled Citrus Vinaigrette, seasonal spring vegetables, feta cheese, and sweet, candied pecans.
- 2 oranges one sliced, one cut in wedges
- 2 lemons one sliced, one cut in wedges
- 5 cups spring salad greens
- 8 radishes thinly sliced, about 1 cup
- 12 asparagus spears chopped, about 1 cup
- 1 cup green peas
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 cloves garlic pressed
- 1/2 teaspoon citrus zest
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1/2 cup Emerald® Glazed Pecans
- 1/4 cup Feta cheese crumbles
Prepare all of your vegetables as noted in the recipe above. Set aside.
Heat your grill to 400 degrees. Make sure it is cleaned and oiled.
Place the citrus slices and wedges on the grill. Grill each side for a minute or two. All you are looking for is to warm them through and get gorgeous grill marks.
Transfer the grilled oranges and lemons to a dish and set aside.
To make the vinaigrette, you will use the juice of the grilled citrus WEDGES. In a small jar, combine warm orange juice, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, honey, cider vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper, a bit of citrus zest. Shake well.
Arrange a large serving platter or bowl with the spring greens and grilled citrus slices.
In a smaller bowl, toss the radishes, asparagus, and peas with 1/4 cup of the prepared vinaigrette. Scoop the vegetables and arrange on the bed of salad greens.
Top the salad with a the Glazed Pecans and sprinkle with feta cheese. Serve with additional dressing if desired.
Nutritional value is calculated using ALL of the vinaigrette. However, you will likely only use half of it, so the calorie and carb count is technically lower than what is listed.