My love of cheese is eternal, and feta is no exception. The creamy texture and briny saltiness of a good quality feta can enhance so many recipes, especially salads. I’ve once again teamed up with Wisconsin Cheese, and this mixed green salad highlights their feta with a perfect balance of flavors, textures and colors.
Some notes on the recipe:
- I always purchase blocks of feta packed in brine as opposed to pre-crumbled feta. As with any cheese, it will taste more flavorful if you wait until the last moment to crumble it. The brine also helps the feta retain moisture, resulting in a cheese that’s both creamy and firm as opposed to slightly dried out.
- Because they’re in season, I used blood oranges. They’re gorgeous and they add so much color to the salad. But you can substitute any variety (aside from perhaps the bitter types used to prepare marmalade).
- I like to save time by purchasing pre-shelled and roasted pistachios. They’re more expensive, but time is money.
- If you’re working with a thick honey, you can microwave it for a few seconds in a ramekin to thin out the consistency before adding it to the vinaigrette. This will prevent clumping when you emulsify it with the other ingredients.
- Salad ingredient quantities are truly a personal preference. When I’m not creating a recipe for the blog, I just throw everything in a bowl and adjust to taste. Add more or less as you see fit.
- Juice from ½ blood orange (navel orange may be substituted)
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste)
- 3 cups baby arugula
- 3 cups baby spinach
- 2 blood oranges, segmented (navel oranges may be substituted)
- ½ cup crumbled Wisconsin feta cheese
- ½ cup shelled, salted, roasted pistachios
- 4 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped or torn
- In a blender or jar with a tight fitting lid, combine the orange juice, olive oil, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. Puree or shake to combine.
- In a large bowl, toss together the arugula, spinach, orange segments, feta, pistachios, and mint.
- Drizzle the salad some of the vinaigrette and gently toss to combine, taking care not to break up the feta. Taste and add more dressing if desired. Divide among four plates and serve. Extra dressing can be stored in the refrigerator.
If the honey is a thicker variety, warm it in a small dish in the microwave for a few seconds before adding it to the vinaigrette to prevent clumping.