How on earth is it already the end of March? I can hardly believe it. We are starting to get a taste of spring-like weather, though at least here in Indiana I know we’ll have a few more cold spells before it warms up for good. This time of year is always a bit tricky for me, as my palate is craving lighter fresher fare but seasonal produce isn’t in sync with my cravings just yet.

I dreamed up this salad while thinking about foods well suited for this bridge between seasons.  In the past I’ve been lukewarm to grapefruit for the most part, as you may gather from its relative scarcity in my archives. Recently I turned a corner with it, thanks in large part to pink grapefruit margaritas made with sorbet. (Never fear, that recipe will hit the blog very soon – likely sooner if you are just dying to have it ASAP.) I have been making this hazelnut vinaigrette for many months now and it has become one of my favorite go-to salad dressings. With an overabundance of grapefruit and blood oranges, and the desire for a salad with a little more somethin’-somethin’ than the standard, this dish materialized. The tart-sweet vibrant citrus with the nutty acidity of the vinaigrette and the sweet creaminess of the goat cheese are well balanced all together. This salad is one of those killer recipes that seems much fancier than it actually is. Who doesn’t love that?!

  • Yield about 4 servings


For the dressing:

  • 2 oz. (about ½ cup) hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 small shallot, finely minced or grated (about 1 tbsp.)
  • 1 tbsp. minced fresh tarragon
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • Salt and pepper

For the salad: 

  • 5-6 cups mixed tender salad greens
  • 1-2 blood oranges, supremed and thinly sliced
  • 1 pink grapefruit, supremed and thinly sliced
  • 2 oz. honey chevre, crumbled


  • 01

    To make the dressing, combine the hazelnuts with the vinegar, water, mustard, honey, shallot, and tarragon in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. Slowly drizzle in the oils, whisking constantly to fully emulsify. The dressing should thicken significantly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  • 02

    Place the salad greens in a large bowl. Add a few tablespoons of the hazelnut vinaigrette and toss gently to coat the greens. Add more dressing as needed to taste. Transfer to a serving dish and top generously with thinly sliced citrus and crumbled goat cheese. Serve immediately.