Mandarin Orange and Candied Almond Salad

I love eating salads but I don't love making them. I don't know what it is but if someone else makes a salad, it's amazing. If I make a salad, it's just meh. Not sure why that is and I know I'm not the only one who thinks this way. Thankfully, this Mandarin Orange and Candied Almond Salad is so easy to pull together and requires minimal cooking that it doesn't fall subject to this rule.


I prefer crispier types of lettuce like iceberg, yes in this salad iceberg works very well, or butter lettuce. Romaine would work but it's not my favorite for this recipe. When I'm in a hurry or just being lazy I buy a couple of bags of butter lettuce-radicchio mix.

Like so many of my go-to recipes, this one was handed down through family members so its origin is unknown to me. I use this recipe as a guide not an absolute. For example, most of my friends love the candied almonds so I often double the amount. I like the crispness of celery so I add an extra rib or two. And when I'm making it for myself I reduce the amount of dressing.

As I said, everyone loves the candied almonds. They're easy to make and best made in a nonstick pan. You need to keep you eye on them because once the sugar starts melting it can quickly start to burn. I keep stirring to prevent this from happening.



This salad is a definite crowd pleaser and a great one to take to a potluck. I've been asked for the recipe several times and am happy that so many people like it.

In the summer I like to make this salad a meal by adding some grilled chicken or steak with some grilled toasts on the side.


Mandarin Orange and Candied Almond Salad


Dressing:

½ cup canola oil
¼ cup white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
⅛ teaspoon Tabasco or other hot sauce

Combine all the ingredients in a jar and shake to combine. This dressing does not emulsify so will need to be shaken just before use.

Candied Almonds:

½ cup sliced or slivered almonds
¼ cup granulated sugar

Heat almonds and sugar in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat just until sugar melts and almonds are golden. Watch the pan carefully as the sugar can burn quickly. Remove from pan and cool.

Salad:

1 small head of iceberg lettuce or 2 bags of mixed leaf lettuce (like butter lettuce and radicchio)
3 green onions, sliced
2 ribs celery, sliced
1 can (18-20 ounces) mandarin orange slices, drained

Combine the salad ingredients and candied almonds in a large bowl. Dress right before serving.

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