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Arugula Orange Salad with Toasted Sesame Vinaigrette

  • Author: Tessa
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 2 main dish salads 1x


I hated fruity salads–until this one. Peppery arugula, salty feta, and crunchy pumpkin seeds balance the sweetness of juicy, peak season citrus so dinner doesn’t taste like candy.


  • 2 T pumpkin seeds, toasted (see instructions in recipe)
  • 3/4 lb. sweet potatoes, any type, peeled
  • Sea salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 3 1/2 T olive oil, divided use
  • 1 t honey dijon mustard (or dijon mustard plus a few drops of honey)
  • 1/4 t grated and finely chopped orange zest
  • 1 1/2 T fresh squeeze orange juice (about 1/2 orange)
  • 2 t rice (wine) vinegar (it may go by either name)
  • 2 t finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 T toasted sesame oil
  • 2 large handfuls arugula
  • 2 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 scallions, white and light green parts thinly sliced


  1. If you need to toast the pumpkin seeds, preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Spread seeds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast for 5 to 10 minutes, watching carefully and stirring once, until some seeds turn golden. Remove to a towel to cool. You can also toast the seeds on the stove, in a dry skillet, over medium low. Stir frequently for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden.
  2. Grate potatoes on coarse side of a box grater or in a food processor (do not rinse). Toss with 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Heat a cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil once hot, and heat until shimmering and fluid. Add potatoes to pan and spread into a layer about 8 to 9 inches in diameter. Press potatoes down and together with the back of a spatula, reduce heat slightly, and cook 10 to 15 minutes while you make the vinaigrette.
  3. Whisk the mustard, orange zest and juice, vinegar, and cilantro in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup until combined. Whisk in sesame oil, followed by olive oil, until emulsified (blended until the oil and other liquids no longer separate). Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt, taste dressing on a piece of arugula, and add seasoning to taste.
  4. Check the potatoes. When well browned on one side, use spatula to cut the round into four quarters and flip each over in the pan. Cook another 10 to 15 minutes, until browned, while you prepare remaining salad ingredients.
  5. Use a small, sharp knife to cut both ends off the orange, removing the white pith but as little fruit as possible. Stand the orange on one end and use knife to remove peel and pith, from top to bottom. Holding the orange in one hand, make an incision on each side of each wedge, then pull out the loosened wedge, continuing to remove all the fruit.
  6. Combine arugula, half the feta, and scallions in a mixing bowl and toss with most of the dressing. When the sweet potato cakes are finished, drain on paper towels and sprinkle with sea salt. Put 2 wedges on each serving plate. Top potato cakes with salad mix. Top each salad with half the remaining feta, the pumpkin seeds, and orange wedges.


If you need to toast the pumpkin seeds, make more than the amount called for in the recipe. It’s easier to work with more, and they’re great for oatmeal or snacking!

You may not need all the dressing (the recipe yields 1/3 cup). Store extra in the fridge in a sealed container, and bring close to room temperature before serving.

To make the salad dairy free and vegan, omit cheese.

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Category: Salad
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian