Fresh, vibrant, nutty, and bright, this Rapini Orange Salad with Tahini Dressing is the side you will be serving all spring long. Combining harmonious flavors with a symphony of textures, this is the perfect salad to serve at your Easter brunch.
Pop the bubbly and pour a Blood Orange Mimosa. With minimal ingredients and just a few simple steps, this colorful salad comes together with ease. Combining the bitter bite of broccoli rabe, sweet burst of Cara Cara oranges, and creamy nuttiness of tahini, this salad will be a star at any meal.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Meal Prep – All of the components of this rapini salad can be made ahead of time, from blanching the broccoli rabe to assembling the easy tahini vinaigrette.
- Balance of Flavors – Raw rapini is a bitter green. However, when you blanche it in salted water it mellows the bitterness and draws out some of its sweetness.
- Fresh Ingredients – You only need minimal fresh ingredients for this salad recipe. It’s as easy to shop for as it is to make.
The star of this Rapini Orange Salad with Tahini Dressing is the verdant broccoli rabe. It’s a versatile green that is delicious simply sauteed with garlic, or made the base of a colorful salad like this.
- Rapini – This popular Mediterranean green is high in iron, calcium, and potassium. The stems, leaves, and buds are all edible. While the buds do slightly resemble broccoli, it never develops a large head.
- Cara Cara Oranges – Slightly sweeter than navel oranges with a lower acidity, these variety of navel orange has a beautiful pink hue.
- Almonds – Gives crunch to this salad and the nuttiness compliments the nutty tahini.
- Olive Oil – The base of the dressing. Pick a high-quality olive oil with good flavor.
- Tahini – Adds creaminess to the dressing and a little natural sweetness. SoCo Tahini is made with just a single ingredient, slow roasted sesame seeds that are stone ground.
- Salt and Pepper
- Lemon – Adds brightness to the dressing and balances the bitterness of the rapini.
- Garlic – Rapini’s best friend. This adds a pop of bold flavor without overpowering the delicate flavor of the tahini.
How to Make Rapini Orange Salad with Tahini Dressing
If you are looking for a quick dish to make to serve alongside your Easter ham, this is it. Perfect with any fish like salmon or even simple roasted chicken, this salad goes with everything.
Time needed: 30 minutes
Bright, butter, sweet, and crunchy, this colorful salad hits all of the flavor and texture notes.
- Mise en Place
Trim off the ends of your rapini. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season it generously with salt.
Add the rapini to the boiling water. Allow it to boil for 5 minutes, or until it becomes an even brighter green and is slightly tender.
Add the blanched rapini to a large bowl of ice water. Let it sit for five minutes. This will stop the cooking and lock in the color.
Thoroughly dry off your rapini so it doesn’t dilute any of the flavors of the ingredients.
Add the ingredients for the tahini-lemon dressing to a jar with a lid. Shake vigorously to combine.
Add your rapini to a serving bowl or platter. Top with the Cara Cara slices and shaved almonds. Drizzle the tahini dressing over the top.
This salad is perfect on its own. However you can dress it up even more and make it a complete meal. Add grilled chicken or salmon. Keep it vegan and add roasted garbanzo beans. You can also add crumbled feta or goat cheese.
If you have a nut allergy you can replace the almonds in this recipe for either sunflower seeds or pepitas. They will still give you that crunch while accenting the flavor of the tahini. No Cara Cara oranges? No problem. You can add traditional navel oranges to this as well.
Storage for Rapini Orange Salad with Tahini Dressing
You can make both the blanched broccoli rabe and also the tahini dressing ahead of time making this great for both meal prep and also just an easy make ahead for any special meal. Once you have blanched and thoroughly dried the rapini, spread it out on a baking sheet and cover it tightly with plastic wrap. You can do this portion 24 hours in advance. The dressing will keep for a week in the lidded jar. When ready to serve take it out and allow it to come to room temperature before shaking it to emulsify it again. The olive oil will harden when refrigerated so this makes it easy to mix.
In addition, you can also store the leftovers. Keep them stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and they will keep for up to three days. If you plan on storing the leftovers you may want to dress the salad individually.
Top Tip for Rapini Orange Salad with Tahini Dressing
Save your jam and jelly jars! A mason jar makes a great way to both mix up your favorite vinaigrette dressings, but also to store them. Using your empty jam and jelly jars is a great way to upcycle them and give them a new purpose while also helping out the planet.
Rapini Orange Salad with Tahini Dressing
- 1 Large Pot
- 1 bowl
- 1 serving bowl/platter
- 1 mason jar
- 1 lbs rapini, ends trimmed
- 1-2 Cara Cara oranges, sliced
- 1/4 cup shaved almonds
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt.
- Add the rapini to the boiling water. Allow it to boil for 5 minutes.
- Remove the rapini from the boiling water and transfer it to a bowl of ice water. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Add the olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, salt, pepper, and garlic to a mason jar. Screw on the lid and shake it vigorously.
- Spread the rapini on a serving platter.
- Top with the orange slices and almonds.
- Drizzle the dressing over the top.