Candied Almond and Mandarin Salad with Orange Poppyseed Dressing

A great holiday entertaining salad — mandarin orange, apples, cranberries, feta cheese, and easy stovetop candied almonds all covered in a delicious orange poppyseed dressing.

Course: Salad Cuisine: American Servings: 4 – 6 as a side Calories: 371 cal Author: Chelsea

1 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons white sugar
10 ounces mixed green lettuce or fresh spinach
1 can (15 ounces) mandarin oranges
2 large apples thinly sliced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup crumbled feta

1/2 cup vegetable oil or olive oil
1 large orange (2 teaspoons zest and 4 tablespoons juice)
1 large lemon (1/2 teaspoon zest and 2 tablespoons juice)
2 and 1/2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Morton fine sea salt
2 teaspoons poppy seeds

In a large skillet, add the sliced almonds and white sugar. Place the heat to medium-high and stir near constantly. The sugar will begin to melt and become a sticky liquid and then stick to the almonds. This takes about 3-4 minutes — watch carefully and stir near constantly to avoid burning the nuts.
Dump the candied almonds onto a sheet of parchment paper and let harden. Break apart.
Thinly slice the apples and toss with lemon juice.
In a large bowl, toss together the lettuce, well-drained mandarin oranges, sliced apples, dried cranberries, and feta cheese.
For the dressing: combine all of the ingredients together except for the oil and poppyseed in a blender. Blend until all ingredients are well incorporated. Slowly add in the oil in a steady stream and pulse until combined.
Stir in the poppyseeds.
Right before enjoying, add the dressing (add to taste — you may not need it all) and candied almonds. Toss and enjoy immediately.
Recipe Notes:
*If you plan on having leftovers, only toss the dressing and almonds with what will get eaten to avoid a soggy salad. This dressing makes enough for 2 full salad recipes. If you want the halved version (I do this often so nothing goes bad) it is: 1/4 cup vegetable oil or olive oil, 1 large orange (1 teaspoons zest and 2 tablespoons juice), 1 large lemon (1/4 teaspoon zest and 1 tablespoons juice), 1 and 1/4 tablespoons honey, 1 teaspoon dijon mustard, heaping 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt, 1 teaspoon poppy seeds


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