Whenever I make salads, I focus on two key attributes: delicious toppings and a solid topping-to-lettuce ratio. Without tasty toppings, the chances I'll truly enjoy my salad are somewhat slim. This Orange and Goat Cheese Salad has exactly these characteristics. The oranges and tomatoes brighten the salad, while the walnuts and goat cheese add a creamy element. There are also enough healthy toppings so that each bite of lettuce includes some element of fruit, cheese, or nuts. It's hearty enough to eat on its own for lunch or it can be enjoyed as a side dish with dinner.
Making salads with healthy, hearty ingredients adds more dimension to a salad. When making a salad, I like to include at least two vegetables or fruits other than lettuce, nuts, cheese, and a light dressing. Each ingredient should add a specific flavor without overwhelming the entire dish. A light balsamic dressing is all you need to dress a salad without detracting from the other ingredients. This Orange and Goat Cheese Salad has all of these elements and is a perfect way to enjoy all of these delicious flavors.
Orange and Goat Cheese Salad
1 head red lettuce, washed and torn into bite-size pieces
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 blood or navel oranges, peeled and thinly sliced
¼ cup goat cheese, crumbled
½ cup walnuts
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
3 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper
3 tbsp chives, chopped
In a medium mixing bowl, add olive oil, honey, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Whisk vigorously until the dressing is well-blended. Set aside.
In a medium-size salad bowl, add lettuce. Top the lettuce with tomatoes, oranges, goat cheese, and walnuts. Lightly drizzle dressing on top of salad and toss with salad servers. Top the salad with chives and serve.