It’s been a dreary Spring up until this week, so I like to add a little sunshine into my meals at times. Citrus, of all kinds, can serve that purpose. And, when it’s a kind of citrus that is always available, so much the better.
Canned Mandarin Oranges get a bad rap sometimes. Like many canned fruits and vegetables, they are often seen as “low class” or just utilitarian. But, they are always on hand, tender, sweet and oh, so versatile. In this case, I chose to add them to a salad of baby greens and Gorgonzola Cheese. The earthy, creaminess of the Gorgonzola pairs wonderfully with the sweet acid found in the Mandarins. To add to the flavor, I popped in a bit of sliced green onion (I used a little more as garnish) and dressed it lightly with a Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette. The crowning glory — spicy-sweet glazed sliced almonds for a texture note and a bit of heat. Feel free to add to the cayenne pepper as you like. One note: do NOT dress the salad until just before you eat because the baby greens will wilt quickly if you just let them sit. And, always dress lightly — you can always serve with more dressing on the side for those who like it!
I’d love to hear what you think of this little salad, or of any variations you’ve come up with after you’ve tried it.
Mandarin, Gorgonzola & Glazed Almond Salad
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1 15oz can, Mandarin oranges, drained
- 6 oz mixed baby salad greens
- 1/2 cup Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 cup green onions, sliced
- 1/2 cup Honey Dijon Dressing below
Honey Dijon Dressing
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbsp honey
- 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- Whisk all dressing ingredients together until emulsified. As an alternative, place all ingredients into a jar with a tight seal. Shake vigorously until all ingredients are combined
- In a small, nonstick skillet, add sugar and cayenne pepper and melt over medium heat, swirling occasionally until sugar becomes caramelized. Add sliced almonds, stir immediately to coat. Transfer coated almonds to a sheet of aluminum foil and let cool.
- Place salad greens in a large bowl. Drizzle with some dressing and toss to coat. Add oranges, Gorgonzola, and green onions. Toss gently to coat with dressing. Serve immediately, topping salad with glazed almonds and additional green onions for garnish.