Thursday, 29 March 2012

Mandarin Garden Salad with Orange Poppy Seed Dressing

Ever since the end of Vogue, my diet has consisted of cookies, cereal, chips, and chicken nuggets. To get myself to eat healthy again, I need to make that salad damn tasty. I bought a salad book way back, about 2 years ago, and never touched it. It's one of the "Company's Coming" series. Anyways so I finally decided to try one of those recipes and it actually turned out pretty good.

It's a pretty simple salad but that little extra something is the can of mandarin oranges. I love them, and if I had to pick one thing to eat for the rest of my life, that would probably be it.

The reserved orange juice is used in the poppy seed dressing and it was a thousand times better than bottles that have been sitting in the grocery stores for months. The original recipe called for dijon mustard. I didn't have any so I cheated and used mayo and a little bit of mustard powder and ground up some mustard seeds. The mayo didn't mix easily with the oil so I switched from my whisk to an immersion blender and it was perfect!

The oranges and grapes brought a little bit of sweetness to the salad and made it way more interesting than a regular garden salad. It's finished off by a little sprinkling of chopped almonds for crunch.

8 cups of chopped lettuce
1/3 red onion, sliced
1 orange bell pepper, julienned
1 can of mandarin orange, reserve the juice
1 cup of seedless grapes

Orange Poppy Seed Dressing:
3 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp reserved orange juice
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp mayo
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp mustard seeds, ground
1 tbsp poppy seeds

Toss together the vegetables and set aside until needed.

Combine all the ingredients for the dressing except for the mustard seeds and poppy seeds and blend them together with a immersion blender. Add in the last 2 ingredients and whisk until well combined.

Drizzle over the dressing when you are ready to serve.

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