Monday, December 29, 2008

Restaurant Worthy Salad

Salads are generally pretty non-descript to me, I either like them or I don't. It is, after all, just plain old lettuce with some garnishments. Don't get me wrong, I love salads but I'm rarely wowed by them (I should say that because this salad was pretty darn tasty). That is until I tried this recipe from Cooking Light. The components fit together so nicely and it just worked. I loved the pop of the pomegranate seeds, the sweet crunch of the candied pecans, and the burst of citrus goodness. Add it all up and you've got a winner of a salad! This one has made it to the repeat list. I'm posting the recipe below with my alterations and notes.

Clementine Salad with Spiced Walnuts and Pickled Onions

1/4 cup water
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 T. sugar
1/2 cup vertically sliced red onion


1 tablespoon orange juice (or any citrus juice you have on hand)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Remaining ingredients:
8 cups gourmet salad greens
Clementine sections (about 4 clementines)
1/2 to 3/4 cup
spiced walnuts (see below)
8 tablespoons pomegranate seeds

To prepare onions, combine first 3 ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; remove from heat. Reserve 2 tablespoons vinegar mixture. Combine remaining vinegar mixture and onion in a small bowl; cool to room temperature.
To prepare dressing, combine reserved 2 tablespoons vinegar mixture, orange juice, oil, and mustard; stir well with a whisk.
Combine dressing and salad greens in a large bowl; toss well. Divide salad greens mixture evenly among 8 salad plates. Top each with about 5-6 clementines, a few onions, 2 tablespoons Spiced Walnuts, and 1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds.

Spiced Walnuts

1/2 cup walnut halves
1/4 cup sugar
2 T. water
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash of salt
Dash of ground red pepper

Preheat oven to 350°.
Arrange walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
Combine sugar and the next 4 ingredients (sugar through red pepper) in a small saucepan. Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 238° (about 8 minutes). Remove from heat; stir in walnuts. Pour walnut mixture onto baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Cool completely; break into small pieces.

Note: Store remaining walnuts in an airtight container.


  1. Thanks for sharing. I love salads and this definitely sounds like one to add to our list!

  2. Sounds so yummy, but I could NEVER get Jason to eat it! Maybe we can have it together sometime!! BTW - we got a Boca gift card for Christmas, so we need to set a date to go!

  3. Ok, I forgot to put my name...but I'm assuming you figured out it was me (Brooke)!