Citrus Almond Salad – Romaine lettuce is tossed with fresh orange segments, sliced almonds, feta cheese, diced chicken, dried cranberries, and a homemade citrus vinaigrette.
The weather is finally warming up and I am all about the fresh produce now. I’ve been making homemade grapefruit soda, eating oranges nonstop, and even whipping up a peach cobbler because I was craving a fruity dessert.
Because of my overwhelming love for produce right now, I was inspired to make one of my favorite salads ever. I used to order it from the Cheesecake Factory years ago, but it’s no longer on the menu. I loved how loaded the salad was with fresh orange pieces and crunchy almonds.
Now, I make that salad for myself at home, including the refreshing citrus vinaigrette. Without further ado, here is my version of their Citrus Almond Salad!
What’s in this salad
The best part of this salad is hands-down the fresh orange segments. They’re bursting with juice in every bite. Along with the orange segments, there are a few other yummy ingredients in this salad:
- Sliced almonds
- Feta cheese crumbles
- Dried cranberries
- Diced chicken
- Romaine lettuce
All these ingredients comes together with help from the homemade citrus vinaigrette.
Citrus Vinaigrette Dressing
This is one of the easiest vinaigrettes you’ll ever make. Using only shallots, orange and lemon juices, white wine vinegar, and olive oil, this vinaigrette will come together in no time at all.
Tips & Tricks
- Make sure to roast the almonds before adding them to the salad. This gives them a perfect crunch. I roast them in a pan on the stove to make it quick. It only takes about 5 minutes.
- This recipe is all about the citrus. Therefore, I really really insist that you use fresh orange segments and not those mandarin oranges you find soaking in syrup or juice. The fresh orange segments make all the difference in the world!
Citrus Almond Salad
For the citrus vinaigrette:
- 1 small shallot minced or pressed
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- pinch salt and pepper
For the salad:
- 8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 2 small navel oranges
- 2 tablespoons feta cheese
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds roasted and salted
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup diced chicken breast
- Add all the dressing ingredients together in a medium bowl. Whisk together. Give it a taste and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Cut tops and bottoms off the navel oranges. Place the cut bottom of one of the oranges onto a cutting board. Using a knife, cut off the rest of the orange peel so the white membrane is removed, Cut out the segments using a pairing knife. Place segments in a large bowl. Repeat with second orange.
- Add other salad ingredients to the large bowl with the oranges. Add half of the dressing to the salad and toss it all together. Taste the salad and add more dressing, if necessary. Serve immediately.