Gorgeous Rainbow Salad with Oranges, Avocado and Ricotta Salata

A very refreshing and healthy salad made with spinach, oranges, avocado and Ricotta Salata. Looks gorgeous, tastes amazing.rainbow saladOranges, oranges, oranges! Such beauties! I am always amazed seeing the creations of Mother Nature. Hidden below the bright orange skin is variety of even more vivid and rich colors, sweet and tart taste and lots of juice. I spotted these tasties while wandering through my Farmers’ Market on a crisp Sunday morning and I knew right away what I was going to make.

orangesCara Cara, Blood and Navel Oranges have each a different taste and combined create a flavor that is not too sweet or sour, just perfectly balanced.  Avocados give the creaminess that we all love. Spinach and pea shoots are the greens here providing tons of additional vitamins and minerals. Ricotta Salata is a lovely, firm and salty cheese ( Salata means salty) from Italy, perfect for slicing or grating.

orange sushiGetting the nice looking pieces of oranges isn’t that hard. The only thing required is a rather sharp knife. You are going to start by cutting off the top and bottom of the oranges, removing as much of the white part, pith, as possible. Next, place the orange with the flat part down on a cutting board and cut off the remaining peel, again removing the pith.

orangeNext, locate the white membranes on the orange. Using a sharp knife cut the segments out leaving the membrane on the orange. Continue with the remaining oranges.

orangeWhen you are done you will have a beautiful looking slices ready for assembling the salad. Since avocado will darken when exposed to oxygen, make the dressing next and cut the avocado last.

sliced oranges

This salad looks beautiful when served on individual plates so I would recommend you take the time to do that, especially if you are trying to impress someone special. If you prefer to serve the salad in a large bowl, leave some of the orange and avocado slices as well as the cheese on the side for a garnish, then gently mix everything together with the dressing and decorate the salad with the remaining ingredients.

Dressing for this salad, in my opinion, should be light and compliment the flavors. I made it using freshly squeezed lemon and orange juice, olive oil, honey and some spices. You can also use white vine vinegar, white balsamic vinegar or  apple cider vinegar. The rule for getting a beautifully emulsified dressing is in the proportions: 1 Tbs of vinegar and 3 Tbs of good extra virgin olive oil whisked together. However, not all acid based liquids are equally strong, so when using lemon juice in a dressing I typically go with the 2:2 ratio. It’s good to add all the spices before whisking the olive oil.


Serves: 2

Preparation: 15 minutes

Assembling: 5 minutes

Ready in : 20 minutes



  • 1 Cara Cara orange, peel and pith removed, cut into segments
  • 1 Blood orange, peel and pith removed, cut into segments
  • 1 Navel orange, peel and pith removed, cut into segments
  • 1 avocado, pitted and sliced
  • 1/2 bag of spinach
  • A handful of pea shoots, (sunflower sprouts are also very delicious)
  • A few shavings of Ricotta Salata ( or your favorite cheese)


  • 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Orange juice squeezed out of leftover oranges, about 1.5 Tablespoon
  • 3 Tablespoons good extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey or raw coconut syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano  


1.  Wash and dry the oranges. Using sharp knife cut off the top and bottom of each orange.

2. Place the orange flat side down and cut off the remaining orange peel and the white pith by placing the knife as close as possible to the orange flesh.

3. Locate the white membranes on the orange. Place the knife next to the membrane and cut down to the center. Next, place the knife on the other side of that segment next to another membrane. Cut down. Cut all of the segments of orange out leaving the membranes still attached to the middle of the orange.

4. Repeat with remaining oranges.

5. Make the dressing by whisking all of the ingredients together. Adjust the seasonings to your personal taste.

6. Peel and slice the avocado.

7. Assemble the salad: place the handfuls of spinach on individual plates, add the divided pea shoots. Next, decorate the plates with sliced oranges and avocado, “hiding” some underneath the greens. Make sure that all three colors of oranges are visible.

7. Add a few of the cheese shavings.

8. Pour the dressing onto the salad. Gently stir right before eating.



  1. Pingback: Chickpea and Fennel Salad with Oranges | It's Cooking with Magda

  2. Pingback: Broccoli Rabe with Oranges and Sweet and Spicy Dressing | It's Cooking with Magda

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