cara cara orange salad

cara cara orange salad | The Clever Carrot

For me, winter is a rough season.

Snow, bitter wind, schlepping toddlers around in puffy winter gear that’s impossible to fit into car seats- no thanks. I’ll take one of those hammocks in a palm tree any day.

But if there’s one thing that excites me about winter, it’s the abundance of seasonal citrus fruit. That would be Meyer lemons, blood oranges and kumquats to name a few. So you can only imagine my excitement when I sampled a pink orange for the first time. Yeah, that’s right, a pink orange.

Hello, Cara Cara…

cara cara oranges | The Clever Carrot

The Cara Cara was surprisingly sweet and delicious. It wasn’t like one of those designer oranges that look all nice on the outside, but is dry and mealy on the inside. You know what I’m talking about, right? (and by the way- what’s up with limes these days? It’s like they don’t come with juice anymore…). Anyways, I bought 2 bags.

I knew exactly what I was going to make.

cara cara orange salad | The Clever Carrotmiso dressing | The Clever Carrotcara cara orange salad | The Clever Carrot

Using some leftover grilled chicken, I made a salad with my new pink oranges and a miso vinaigrette. I love the flavor of orange and miso together. I’m quite obsessed with miso actually. But that’s another post… Oh, and I added some toasted almonds for crunch.

For me, this is the perfect winter salad. Citrus takes me to a place of warmth and sunshine, which is more than welcome in this brutal weather.

cara cara orange salad | The Clever Carrot

 * When preparing the oranges, you have 2 choices; you can either peel them by hand leaving the white pith intact (which is what I did), or you can slice off the outer skin leaving just the flesh. I’ve never been good at the latter, as I seem to masacre the entire orange. The choice is up to you! 

cara cara orange salad
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • ½ c. slivered almonds, toasted
  • 2 leftover chicken breasts (preferably grilled)
  • 2 Cara Cara oranges
  • 4 handfuls of mixed greens, washed & spun dry
Miso Vinaigrette
  • 3 tbsp. white miso*
  • ¼ garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tbsp. mirin
  • 2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ cup vegetable or mild olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. water
*To make this gluten-free, be sure to look for brown-rice based white miso. Gluten-free brands include Eden Foods & South River Miso.
  1. Add all of the vinaigrette ingredients to a blender. Process until smooth. If it seems too thick, adjust the consistency with a little water. Set aside.
  2. In a small pan, toast the slivered almonds over medium low heat. Transfer to a bowl.
  3. Dice the chicken into bite site pieces.
  4. To prepare the oranges, you have 2 choices; peel them by hand leaving the white pith intact (which is what I did), or you can slice off the outer skin leaving just the flesh. Then, slice the oranges into rounds.
  5. To serve, portion the salad onto plates. Top with grilled chicken, orange slices and toasted almonds.
  6. Drizzle some of the vinaigrette over the salad and serve extra on the side.
* Dress this salad right before serving (not in advance), so that it does not wilt.


  1. says

    You know, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a Cara Cara orange here, except maybe I did but didn’t know what I was looking at? I sure will, now! What a pretty salad, I love it! Winter has been mild but definitely with many blah days, so this would cheer up the family for sure! xx

    • Emilie says

      Thanks Smidge! Yeah, I’ve walked right past these oranges several times not knowing what they were. They look just like the regular ones! But they certainly are sweet & juicy. I’m glad that you’re having a mild winter. I can’t wait until it’s over! Thankfully, spring is right around the corner! xx
      PS- I’m loving all of your ‘pastels for spring’ pins on Pinterest ;)

  2. says

    Oh, I hear you on the winter front…not an easy, breezy, care free season, that’s for sure. I can’t wait to hang on a hammock either ;0). This salad is absolutely delightful. I’m not sure I’ve ever known the proper appellation for these oranges, or whether they appear under different names in different places. Either way, they are wonderfully juicy and gorgeous too. Your miso vinaigrette is inventive and your photos always such a treat… beautiful Emilie.

    • Emilie says

      Thank you for your kind words Kelly :) I’m not sure either if the Cara Cara would be found under another name… but if you do come across them, they are a real treat! And the oranges combined with the miso vinaigrette is one of my favorite flavor combinations. You could always substitute with regular oranges or even clementines! xx

  3. says

    As winter turns the corner, this is exactly the sort of food I hanker for on those rare sunny days we get this time of year. I haven’t seen Cara Cara oranges here but as you say, they may well be under another name. I shall have to seek them out.

    • Emilie says

      Anne, I totally agree. Citrus makes me think of the sun and the beautiful, warm weather to come (I didn’t mean for that to rhyme…haha)! I hope you are able to find some of these oranges. They’re quite a treat! But if not, regular navels or clementines will do :)

  4. says

    Come to me, colorful, fresh zesty salad! This salad looks amazing and I’m looking forward to the summer months as much as you. Very much ready to move on from winter. I’ve never heard of cara cara oranges! I need to study up on my citrus varietals! Looks great!

    • Emilie says

      Thanks Julia! I know, winter is a bummer…But as I write this, I see little daffodils poking their heads through the ground so spring is on its way! I hope you are able to find these oranges. They are super yummy and a real seasonal treat! Thanks for stopping by :)

  5. Lisa Holcomb says

    I have used the miso vinaigrette as a marinade for and then baked the chicken and served as otherwise stated. Delicious and wonderfully tender and juicy!

    • Emilie says

      Hi Lisa! That’s a fantastic idea, marinating chicken in the miso dressing. I love miso on just about anything. Thanks for the tip! :)

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