Moroccan Orange Salad with Quinoa

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Moroccan salad of oranges and kalamata olives dressed in a spicy vinaigrette. Add peppery arugula and quinoa for a vegetarian main dish.

Moroccan Orange Salad

The topic for this month’s Bloghop is Citrus, which is a perfect theme for this time of year for two big reasons.

First, because I’m ready for lots of fruits and veggies after the holidays. I should add, that doesn’t mean I won’t be posting some citrus desserts this month, just that I’m not starting with one.

And second, because citrus is at it’s peak all over the country right now. Grapefruit, oranges, lemons, limes are the most common, and are at their sweetest, juiciest, and most nutritious this time of year. Best of all, now we also see mandarin oranges, tangerines, kumquats, Buddha’s hand, Meyer lemons, pomelos (a citrus fruit bearing a sweet, mild grapefruit flavor), and tangelos (a cross between a tangerine and a pomelo) popping up at the stores. If you’ve been aching to experiment with citrus, this is the time to strike the match of citrus creativity.

Nutrition Note: We all know citrus is loaded with vitamin C and other nutrients that are good for you, but here’s something you might not know: when adding citrus to nutritious greens, the citrus makes the good stuff from the greens more bioavailable. It’s one of those magical food combinations of 1 + 1 = 3.  So anytime you’re choosing some kale, swiss chard, or collards, think about adding some citrus to the mix.


Moroccan Orange Salad

Cook’s Notes:

  • Moroccan Orange Salad is a spicy salad that typically stars oranges and kalamata olives. But since I wanted to use this as a main dish, I included some greens and a grain. I chose fresh arugula, which goes great with the spicy flavors of this salad. And I used some cooked quinoa that I had in my refrigerator, which is a great match for anything citrus. I consider cooked grains to be one of my Pantry Items I keep in the refrigerator, making it easy to add to salads or veggie dishes for some protein.
  • Navel oranges are great in this salad as they’re seedless, but you can use other seedless citrus in the same family.
  • Since cooked quinoa is part of My Pantry, I have linked this ingredient to the recipe I use for cooking quinoa grain in My Pantry tab.
  • There are two ways to serve this healthy salad: cut the oranges into bite-sized pieces and add to the salad; or slice into 1/4″ slabs. Lay the slabs on a plate and drizzle with some of the dressing. Heap the dressed salad on top of the orange slices.


  • 2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika (I use Pimenton de la Vera)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large navel oranges
  • 4 handfuls arugula (enough for two servings)
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 large shallots, peeled and slivered
  • 20 kalamata olives, halved
  • 3 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • zest of 1 large lime
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Making It…

  1. Make the dressing by whisking together the sherry wine vinegar, orange juice and spices until spices are dissolved. Whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. Set aside.
  2. Slice off the top and bottom of the oranges. Setting them on their flat bottoms, carefully slice away the peel and pith, leaving the fruit completely intact. Slice the whole, peeled, oranges horizontally in 1/4″ slices. Slice into bite-sized pieces if desired.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the arugula, cooked quinoa, olives, shallot, mint leaves and lime zest. Add the orange slices and drizzle 1/2 the dressing over the mixture. Toss and add remaining dressing as desired.
  4. Heap on a plate and top with the feta cheese.

As I mentioned in my opener, I’m part of bloghop, where the food blog community connects with other blogs to share recipes and spread the love. This month, January is #citruslove month!

You’re more than welcome to join us in #citruslove fun by simply adding your recipe at the end of this bloghop!  Be sure to link back to this post, so that your readers know to stop by the #citruslove event!  The twitter hashtag is #citruslove. Here are my co-hosts for this bloghop this month! Go check out what they’re cooking citrus!

Astig Vegan ~ Richgail ~ @AstigVegan
Oh Cake ~ Jessica ~ @jesshose


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  1. says

    Oh gosh, I am planning to enter – guess I should have signed up to host…Susan, your recipe and photos absolutely sparkle. Brava re the new camera – I need a big nudge to order mine! Lovely post.

  2. says

    This is a gorgeous salad, and I love how you turned it into a main dish with quinoa and arugala! I’m imagining cara cara oranges in the salad…fabulous :-) So happy to be hosting another lovely bloghop with you!

  3. says

    Susan, this recipe looks so fresh and tasty. Such a thoughtful mix of flavors and textures — and I’m grain-crazy these days. I look forward to trying it soon.

    • says

      Hey thanks, Carol! Me too – I’m loving grains and greens this time of year. I think it’s driving my husband a little crazy, but he’s mostly ok with it as long as I throw down a beautiful steak on his plate :-)

  4. says

    Lovely recipe!Such a coincidence that we along with Lisa had similar ideas.Great fun to be hosting this with you :)Happy Citruslove!

  5. says

    Yumm, Susan. This will make me dig out a recipe I developed years ago: Moroccan Orange & Date Salad. Has some classic North African ingredients. In addition to oranges, there’s dates, pistachios and a dressing laced with ground cumin. Our recipes are perfect for this time of year!

    • says

      Dates!! How perfect. And if I weren’t allergic to nuts, I would hop on the pistachios too. I’ve got some dates and will add them to the salad I make today! Thanks, Rita – and you’re right, these are the flavors that really work this time of year! I’ll be looking for your recipe on your blog now! Thanks for stopping by :-)

    • says

      Thanks juniakk! This time of year, I crave salads almost more than I do in the summer, especially salads with grains. I would love to see your quinoa salad with grapefruit sometime. I did one a few years ago with grapefruit and oranges and I just loved it!

  6. Bevi says

    I stayed in Southern California this past week, and a Meyer lemon tree was in our backyard. Needless to say, every dish had a Meyer lemon in it – from Shrimp a la Bittman, to a tuna salad we ate for lunch every day! The first recipe I posted on food52 is chicken baked in citrus juices. This is so exciting!

    • says

      I love citrus, and how wonderful to have a Meyer lemon tree in your backyard – even if it was only for this past week – LiztheChef has one and I’m just green with envy! Hope to hook up at FFS!

  7. says

    I love sweet, salty and savory in a salad. It’s gorgeous, and the addition of quinoa makes it even better and so healthy! Nice to meet your blog and c-host #citruslove with you!

  8. says

    Love the addition of the kalamata olives, that is so unique! My husband and I just watched a cooking show where they incorporated the quinoa in a lovely salad, sounds so healthy, and delicous! your salad looks wonderful! Hugs, Terra

    • says

      Thanks so much Terra! I really appreciate it. I like to keep some cooked quinoa or cooked farro in the refrigerator so that it’s easy to add to various dishes for a little protein :-) Thanks for stopping by!

  9. says

    I love everything about this salad! It is definitely a healthy full meal and sounds extremely tasty! I didn’t know that moroccan orange salad was oranges and Kalamatas. Interesting because I love that combination! Thanks for co-hosting the citrus hop!


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