Today, I have some beautiful little mandarin oranges that I found at the market when the produce manager balked at breaking up a box of clementines for smaller orders... shame on him! Oh well... I remembered this light salad that I found years ago and have made whenever I have a citrus salad urge... this recipe came out of Betty Crocker's Cookbook. Funny... When you look back at older cookbooks, you see just how silly we were as consumers way back in the day... this recipe calls for canned mandarin oranges ... horrors! Yuck, yuck, triple yuck! Those little white-spotted, limp, pieces of citrus can't hold a candle to a small bowl or fresh, juicy, mandarins. So... I have altered Betty's recipe to make it fresher and to do a fast-forward for today's (meaning mine) palates. I took out the iceberg lettuce and substituted baby spinach greens ... dark greens are tastier and better for you! I like raspberry vinegar and walnut oil in dressings, so they're in there. I love almonds, so I doubled the amount. I've decreased the salt by half because, hey, we have WAY too much salt in our diets these days.You may want to take the salt out altogether and add it to taste after shaking up the salad dressing ingredients.
I have a little roaster chicken that I'm going to stuff with a stabbed lemon, rub with some herbs and bring to a golden brown crispy goodness in the oven. I also have a beautiful bottle of Brancott's Reserve Sauvignon Blanc getting cold, cold, cold in the fridge. I'm thinking dinner will be light, simple and delicious.
So... make salad! Dream on Spring!
Sweetly Dressed Greens with Mandarin Oranges and Almonds- printer friendly
Sweetly Dressed Greens with Mandarin Oranges and Almonds
adapted from a recipe in Betty Crocker’s Cookbook (1978)
½ c. slivered almonds
2 tbsp. sugar
5 oz. fresh baby spinach leaves, washed, long stems trimmed, spun out
4 c. fresh romaine lettuce, washed, chopped into bite-sized pieces, spun out
3 medium stalks perfect celery, washed and sliced thinly on the diagonal
½ medium sweet white onion, thinly sliced into wedges
4 to 5 mandarin oranges, peeled, all pith removed, sectioned and chopped into bite-sized pieces
sweet and sour dressing (recipe follows)
Making the Salad:
In a non-stick fry pan, combine the almonds and sugar and toss over medium high heat until the sugar melts and coats the nuts. Remove immediately and place on a cool plate. Cool the nuts and then break them up and set them aside for topping the salad.
Place the cleaned and spun out greens, onions, and celery into a large zip-lock bag or deep bowl.
Toss the sweet and sour dressing a bit at a time until the salad is well-coated and tastes right … don’t drown the salad.
Place the salad in an attractive salad bowl or plate the greens on individual salad plates. Top with the oranges, and almonds.
Drizzle a tiny bit of dressing over the top for show… serve.
Sweet and Sour Dressing
Shake all the ingredients together in a tightly covered jar and refrigerate.
¼ c. walnut oil
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. raspberry vinegar
1 tbsp. chopped parsley
¼ tsp. salt
dash Asian hot chili sauce