I have the privilege of having wonderful cooks around me that have shared recipes with me and taught me how to cook throughout the years. Two of them are my sister-in-law Camilla and my cousin Susan. I have taken their recipes and put them together to make a salad that you will love.
Have you noticed that the salads in the restaurants are not as crisp as they used to be. That is because they are using lettuce straight from the bag and they are not rinsing it. When you rinse it, you rehydrate it and the color comes back and it is fresh and crisp. Don’t skip this step. Even if you don’t have time to refrigerate it, rinse it and pat it dry.
Mandarin Orange Salad
Romaine lettuce (I buy hearts of Romaine. There are 3 hearts per bag. You will need one heart per 2 servings.) If you need a shortcut, you can buy romaine already cut up. But you still need to rinse it even if it says it is ready to use.
Cut up romaine in bite size pieces. Place in a colander and rinse with cold water. Place a paper towel in your serving dish. Put the romaine on the paper towel. Cover with a damp paper towel and refrigerate. Remove both paper towels before serving.
1 can mandarin oranges, drained. (small can for 2 people, large can for 4)
1 stalk celery diced
2 green onions, green ends chopped
Garnish romaine with above ingredients. Toss with salad dressing just before serving. The dressing wilts the lettuce, so don’t put it on until you are ready to serve.
Camilla’s Poppy Seed Dressing
2/3 cup vegetable oil (not olive oil, it doesn’t taste good in this recipe)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. poppy seeds
Whisk all together and refrigerate. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Garnish with Orange Pecans.
Susan’s Orange Pecans
1 Tbsp. orange zest
1/4 cup orange juice
1 cup sugar
4 cups pecans
In a small saucepan, mix together the zest, juice and sugar. Stir in the pecans. Cook over medium heat until the mixture crystalizes on the pecans. Cool on the counter top. (not on paper towel, they will stick)
Garnish Mandarin Orange Salad with the pecans. If cooking for 2, cut the pecans to 1 or 2 cups, but keep the other ingredients in the same amount.
This salad is also good served with steak or chicken. It is a favorite standby for company. The pecans freeze well after they are coated. You will want them on hand. They are soooooooo good. Be sure you don’t eat them all before you serve the salad!