Spinach salad with blood oranges, almonds, and tarragon

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Spinach salad with blood oranges, almonds, and tarragon

Recently I had the privilege to join the board of directors for the Community Alliance with Family Farmers. This non-profit organization has been active in California for almost 30 years in advocacy and on-the-ground programs related to resource conservation, sustainable farming, community food systems, and other issues of public interest. 

The board, half of which are farmers from all different sectors of our agricultural economy, supports innovative programs that ultimately affect many. Because of help and technical expertise from CAFF, we will continue to bring fruits and vegetables from new and beginning small family farmers into our inpatient food services at our 19 Northern California hospitals. 

Other organizations are joining us in the movement to encourage the consumption of more locally grown foods. 

Meanwhile, your local farmers' market has most of the ingredients for an excellent, seasonal spinach salad. This is light and fresh.

Servings: 4


  • 6 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 3 green onions, white and light green parts coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 blood oranges
  • 1/2 cup almonds, sliced and toasted in a skillet
  • Spinach for 4 — I have no idea how much that weighs


  1. Whisk the first 7 ingredients together. 
  2. Season the dressing with salt and freshly ground pepper. 
  3. Peel the oranges and cut some of the pith off. I don't get real picky about this because I eat oranges with the pith on all the time anyway. Cut them up into segments. 
  4. Wash and dry the spinach well. Toss the leaves with about half of the dressing. You may not need more and have leftover dressing for another salad. 
  5. Mix in the orange pieces and top with toasted almonds.