Citrus and spinach salad

    15 min

    In this colourful salad, the subtle flavour of spinach is enhanced by sweet melon and citrus, and Parma ham adds a savoury touch. You can prepare the dressing in advance, but only assemble the salad at the last moment to preserve as much vitamin C as possible. Serve with French or Italian bread as a light main dish.

    1 person made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 1 ruby grapefruit
    • 1 large orange
    • 225 g (8 oz) young spinach leaves
    • 250 g (8½ oz) cantaloupe melon, cut into bite-sized chunks
    • 2 spring onions, white parts only, very thinly sliced
    • 55 g (2 oz) thinly sliced Parma ham, excess fat removed, cut into shreds
    • Creamy dressing
    • 1 tbsp best-quality balsamic vinegar
    • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 tbsp single cream
    • ½ tsp honey
    • salt and pepper

    Prep:15min  ›  Ready in:15min 

    1. To make the dressing, put the vinegar, oil, cream and honey in a small screw-top jar. Cover and shake until well blended. Set aside.
    2. Working over a bowl to catch the juice, peel the grapefruit, removing all the bitter white pith, then cut it into segments between the membranes. If large, cut the segments into bite-sized pieces. Set the grapefruit segments aside on a plate.
    3. Using a citrus zester, take fine shreds of zest from the orange and set aside. Working over the bowl containing the grapefruit juice, peel the orange, removing all the pith, then cut it into segments between the membranes and cut the segments into bite-sized pieces, if liked. Add to the grapefruit segments and set aside.
    4. Add 1 tbsp of the combined grapefruit and orange juices to the dressing and shake again to blend. Taste and add more citrus juice, if liked. Add salt and pepper to taste.
    5. Place the spinach in a large serving bowl. Add the orange and grapefruit segments, the melon and spring onions and toss together. Shake the dressing once more, then pour it over the salad and toss. Scatter the Parma ham and orange zest over the top and serve at once.

    Each serving provides

    Excellent source of folate, vitamin A, vitamin C. Useful source of calcium, iron, niacin, vitamin B1, vitamin B6.

    Some more ideas

    To add a peppery flavour, replace 55 g (2 oz) of the spinach with watercress leaves removed from their stalks. Watercress is an excellent source of vitamin C, as well as beta-carotene. * Replace the balsamic vinegar with a fruit-flavoured vinegar, such as raspberry or lemon. * Make this into a vegetarian salad by omitting the Parma ham. If you want to retain the flavour contrast of the fruit with a savoury, salty ingredient, sprinkle the salad with 55 g (2 oz) of drained and crumbled feta cheese.

    Plus points

    This salad is a first-class source of vitamin C. The fruit are loaded with this essential vitamin, as is the spinach. Vitamin C is destroyed when food is cooked or cut, which is why it is better to leave the spinach leaves whole. * Ruby and pink grapefruit contain the antioxidant beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A by the body.

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