Saturday, May 2, 2009

Romaine and Orange Salad with Poppyseed Dressing

If I had made a Top 5 Favorite Salads list, this one would be on it. It's perfect for a brunch, all light and cheerful looking with the pretty mandarin oranges. It's a perfect blend of flavors and textures and the dressing is out of this world.

I prefer to do as much prep work ahead of a brunch as possible. One of the great things about this salad is that you can make the dressing the day (or days) before your brunch. I used my food processor, but a blender would also work. Put the sugar, 1/2 cup of chopped red onion, apple cider vinegar, ground mustard, and salt into the food processor and puree.

The red onion gives it a pretty color. Don't you think?

Reduce the speed and add 1/2 cup of oil and blend until creamy.

Stir in a teaspoon of poppy seeds. I put mine into the refrigerator until I was ready to serve the salad. Give it a good shake before serving.

I assemble my salad right before serving, but I have allof my prep work done ahead. The day before, I brown and crumble the bacon, toast the almonds, and chop the celery and green onions. I store them all in separate sandwich baggies in the refrigerator. When it's time, I fill my bowl with romaine, and toss the other ingredients on top.

I like to toss the dressing with the salad right before serving. However, if there's a smaller crowd, I serve the dressing on the side because the leftovers will keep for an extra day or two without the dressing.

Romaine and Orange Salad with Poppy seed Dressing

6 slices of bacon- brown, drain, set aside

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon poppy seeds

Combine first 5 ingredients in a blender or food processor. Reduce speed and add oil. Blend until creamy. Stir in poppy seeds.

10 cups torn romaine lettuce
10 oz. can mandarin oranges, drained
1/4 cup toasted almonds
2 chopped celery ribs
1/4 cup green onions

Toss romaine with crumbled bacon, oranges, green onions, celery, and almonds. Top with dressing.

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