You may think caramelizing almonds sounds tricky but it's so easy and the outcome is amazing! You do have to be patient as it takes several minutes for the sugar to melt and bind to the almonds. I use Blue Diamond almonds which are gluten free. These candied almonds are the perfect complement to the sweet and tangy homemade vinaigrette.
You can totally customize this salad to add what you like - I love to add the scallions, celery, and mandarins. You can add cherry tomatoes, blue cheese crumbles, or crispy chicken chunks to make it a meal of its own.
Unsure how to cut scallions? Check out this helpful video from Blue Apron.
It is best to make the vinaigrette the night before so it can refrigerate overnight. In a pinch, you can get by refrigerating it for at least 4 hours. Don't use too much dressing or you will get a soggy salad. Less is more with this one.
Mandarin Orange Almond Lettuce Salad
1 pint mason jar
Medium sized salad bowl
- 2 T distilled white vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 T sugar
- 1/4 c vegetable oil
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp parsley flakes
- 1/4 c almonds
- 2 T sugar
- 1/2 head iceberg lettuce chopped
- 1 bag mixed greens of your choice
- 1 c chopped celery
- 2 green onions (scallions) chopped
- 1 T chopped fresh parsley (optional)
- 1 11 oz can mandarin oranges
In pint-size mason jar combine vinegar, salt, sugar, oil, pepper, parsley. Screw lid on tight and shake vigorously to mix contents. Refrigerate at least 4 hours (overnight is ideal).
Place 2 T. sugar and almonds in small skillet. Cook over medium-low heat until sugar melts and almonds are brown. Stir constantly and watch carefully to prevent burning. This takes several minutes. Remove from heat and cool at room temp.
Toss together the chopped lettuce, mixed greens, celery, green onions, and fresh parsley. Just before serving, toss with dressing and top with almonds and mandarin oranges. It is best to go light on the dressing otherwise your salad will be too wet and soggy. It has robust flavor and in this case, less is more. I always have extra dressing that I store in the fridge.