Monday, March 31, 2008

Mandarin Almond Salad

Toss together:
1 large head (or 2 hearts) Romaine lettuce
One 11-14 oz. can mandarin oranges, drained (I use more since my kids love them)
2 green onions, chopped up to 1/3 of the green part

3 TBSP oil
3 TBSP cider vinegar
2 TBSP white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
pepper to taste
(You will need to taste to see if the oil/vinegar/sugar balance is to your liking. I like mine with sweet and tangy taste (roughly equal amounts of oil and vinegar. Many dressings call for twice as much oil as vinegar.)

Caramel Almonds
¼ cup slivered almonds
2 TBSP white sugar
(I usually double this amount!)

Heat sugar in small frying pan over medium heat until it starts to melt around the edges, then put the almonds on top of sugar. Stir constantly until sugar and nuts turn a caramel brown color. Make sure all sugar granules are dissolved. Remove from heat continuing to stir, and pour them on a greased, foil-lined pan/cookie sheet to cool. (Try to separate the nuts with a fork as you are able so they break apart better when they are cool). When nuts are cool, break them into small pieces.

When ready to serve: Pour dressing over lettuce and top with caramel almonds.

--Use caramelized pecan pieces instead of the slivered almonds
--Use the Sugar & Spice Glazed Pecans (see the recipe I use under “nuts”)
--Use dried cranberries and cashews instead of mandarin oranges and almonds
--If you don’t have enough nuts, you can throw in a handful of roasted sunflower seeds.
--Add other sweet veggies as you like (pea pods or snap peas, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, carrots, etc.)