This salad is inspired by the delicious concoction that my buddy Maureen used to whip up for all of us working at my old job back in the day. Perfectly tangy, crunchy, and sweet – it was probably the most requested item at our potlucks and parties. Remind me to beg her for her recipe sometime.
Right around the time I left for NYC, my aunt gave me a copy of the Junior League of Yakima Cookbook, and lo and behold, they had a version of Maureen’s salad. Their version had a few unusual additions, to include parsley, candied almonds and tabasco. They also used a lettuce blend as opposed to the traditional iceberg.
Fast forward a bit, and out of sheer necessity and chronic cravings for interesting salad options, I came up with the following “hacked” version of the two recipes. I ditched the candied almonds, added some splenda, and used a mix of extra crisp lettuces – frisee became the ace in the hole, adding both crunch and texture. Topping off the whole shebang is a lovely toss of black and white sesame seeds. The bright mix manages to make me grin just at the sight of it. A nourishing enough meal on its own, this salad is also a great accompaniment to slices of Crispy Ginger Chicken.
Sesame Mandarin Salad
6 c. of mixed greens (iceberg, romaine, frisee, green leaf, red leaf)
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 c. of celery, diced
1 15oz. can of mandarin orange segments, drained
1/3 c. of sliced almonds
1/4 c. of vegetable oil
4 tbs. of rice wine vinegar
2 packets of splenda (or 4 tsp. of sugar)
1/2 tsp. of salt
1/8 tsp. of white pepper
1 tsp of white sesame seeds
1 tsp of black sesame seeds
In a large salad bowl, toss the greens, scallions, celery, almonds and oranges. Set aside. Mix together in a small bowl the olive oil, rice wine vinegar, splenda, salt and white pepper. Pour the dressing on the sides of the salad bowl (a Thomas Keller trick to perfectly saturate each green with an even amount of dressing) and toss. Top the salad with the sesame seeds. Serve to deserving lovelies.