Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mandarin Almond Salad

I made this last night and since my head of lettuce was huge and there was no waste, I made double the dressing and added several strawberries (they were yummy!). When red leaf lettuce cannot be found, you can use green leaf (but it carries a more bitter flavor, in my opinion) or romaine. A friend of mine uses baby spinach leaves and it’s delicious!

If you want to use less oil, use some of the light syrup out of the canned oranges and omit the sugar in the dressing.

Be sure to use white vinegar the first time you make it. I didn’t have any so I used red wine vinegar last night and I have to admit it wasn’t as good. I also didn’t have parsley or red onion but I didn’t miss them that much.

Chicken is also good in this.

This is something you want to use immediately. Since I was making it for just the two of us, I didn’t add the nuts or dressing to the large salad bowl. Instead we added those ingredients to our individual bowls. That way we have leftovers that won’t be soggy or mushy.  When having company, you can do the individual items ahead of time and toss together just before serving.

Candied Nuts:
3 tablespoons sugar
½ cup slivered almonds (I have used chopped pecans and walnuts before and they are good too)

Melt sugar over low heat. Stir in almonds until coated. Quickly spread onto wax paper. Cool, then break into small pieces.

NOTE: I’ve found that I like the texture better when I combine the nuts and sugar and cook over low (low-medium, if you’re standing right there stirring the whole time) and stir until the sugar melts enough to stick to the nuts.

¼ cup oil
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon parsley
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 tablespoon sugar

In a jar, mix ingredients, cover tightly and shake well.

1 head red leaf lettuce, washed and torn
1 can mandarin oranges (drained)
1 small red onion (chopped)

Combine lettuce, oranges, onion, and almonds in large bowl (glass or plastic). Shake dressing and pour over salad. Toss and serve immediately.

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