Monday, April 19, 2010

Romaine and Mandarin Orange Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

I'm always afraid of being too extreme when preparing food for other people. When I was asked to make a meal for this couple in our church, I decided the main dish would be main stream, something everybody likes so I made chicken parmigiana. I decided to go out on a limb for the salad though. When I saw this recipe, I knew I would love it for some strange reason. I was right. It was fabulous. My changes are in bold.

Romaine and Mandarin Orange Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

6 slices bacon
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup white sugar (I reduced to 1/2 C)
1/2 red onion, coarsely chopped (I reduced to less than 1/4 red onion)
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
10 cups torn romaine lettuce leaves
1 (10 ounce) can mandarin orange segments, drained
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds

1. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
2. Place vinegar, sugar, red onion, mustard powder, and salt into the bowl of a blender. Cover, and puree on high until smooth. Reduce blender speed to medium-low; slowly pour in the vegetable oil and blend until incorporated and the dressing is creamy. Stir in the poppy seeds and set aside.
3. To serve, toss the romaine in a large bowl with the crumbled bacon, Mandarin oranges, and enough dressing to moisten. Place onto salad plates and sprinkle with toasted almonds.

Again, I apologize for no pictures, but it was divine. The dressing is pink because of the red onion and it looks so pretty!

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