Mandarin Walnut Salad

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You know, I’m really not a salad lover.

I’ve tried.  I really have.  But my heart just isn’t in it.

Truth be told, there are times at a restaurant when I want to tell the server, “I want the grilled chicken and spinach salad, but I don’t want the spinach.  I want all the stuff that goes on it – the chicken, the bacon bits, the cheese, the nuts, the mushrooms, the dressing.  But I don’t want the green stuff.”

I’ve never actually done that.  But I’ve really, really, really wanted to.

I love this salad because it has a LOT of the stuff that goes on a salad.  In fact, the ratio of stuff to spinach is like – I don’t know – 75/25.

I’ll take it!

Mandarin Spinach Salad

Orange Vinaigrette

  • The zest and juice of 1 large naval orange
  • ½ tbsp. of minced garlic
  • ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup of sugar or sugar substitute
  • ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients except the oil in a blender until completely blended.  While blender is running, add the oil in a thin stream.  Blend for 1 minute.  Can be used immediately or refrigerated for up to a week.

  • 8 cups of baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup of halved grape tomatoes
  • 1 11-ounce can of mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 cup of toasted walnuts
  • 1/4 cup of freshly grated or shaved Parmesan

Toss together with orange vinaigrette.  If taking this salad to be eaten later, pack the oranges and dressing in separate containers.

Well Duh #1:  You really don’t have to pay attention to the measurements on the salad part.  Just make as much as you want.

Well Duh #2:  If you’re packing this salad, pack the oranges and tomatoes together in a separate bag and the dressing in a separate container.  If you toss everything together before you go, you will have a big, limp, wilted, sad mess when you try to eat it.

Well Duh #3:  You can also put all of the vinaigrette ingredients in a small jar, screw on the lid, and shake it.

This is one of my favorite side salads.  It pairs well with the Bacon and Cheese Quiche it’s pictured with.  But that’s another post for another day!




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