Celebrate spring with this leafy green salad topped with homemade poppy seed dressing!

By: Jodie Shield, RDN

Spring is in the air – finally! Traditionally, the second week of April is always Garden Week and April 14th is National Pecan Day.  Both of these celebrations give me the perfect opportunity to share my friend Donna’s fabulous spring salad.  She uses whatever mixed greens look fresh, but I highly recommend adding some arugula.  The peppery taste of arugula pairs well with the tartness of the oranges and the sweetness of the pecans.  Feel free to use your favorite dressing or try her Poppy Seed Dressing. It makes way more than you’ll need, so store the extra in the refrigerator; it will last several weeks. Be sure to try my Classic Spinach Salad and Arugula, Blood Orange, and Blue Cheese Salad.  For more tips about what to pair with your favorite greens, check out my article in Food and Nutrition Magazine.

Spring Citrus Salad

6 Servings

 Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 0 minutes


  • 6 cups mixed greens
  • 2 cups mandarin orange slices
  • ¼ cup toasted pecans, sliced


  1. In large salad bowl add greens, orange slices, and almonds.
  2.  Add Poppy Seed Dressing to salad; toss until well combined.

Nutritional Information per Serving (1 cup salad without dressing): 78 calories, 2.6 grams protein, 11.5 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 2 grams fiber, 6 milligrams sodium/

 Poppy Seed Dressing

17 Servings

 Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 0 minutes


  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • salt, optional


  1. Combine canola oil, vinegar, sugar, Dijon mustard, poppy seeds and salt (if using) in measuring cup; whisk until combined.
  2. Add Dressing to Spring Greens Citrus Salad

Nutritional Information per (1 tablespoon dressing) Serving: 90 calories, 0 grams protein, 3 grams carbohydrate, 8.5 grams fat, 0.5 grams saturated fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 0 grams fiber, 7 milligrams sodium


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About Author


Jodie Shield, M.Ed., R.D., L.D.N. Jodie Shield has been a consultant and spokesperson in the field of nutrition for over two decades. A former national media spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association (1989-1995), she has worked extensively with the Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center and taught nutrition and medical dietetics at the University of Illinois. Currently she is a complemental faculty member of the College of Health Sciences in the Department of Clinical Nutrition at Rush University in Chicago.

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