We first had this mandarin orange salad when we lived over in Germany. It was served by some dear American friends of ours, and the taste is absolutely amazing!
The original recipe called for just regular white sugar; however, I have made a healthier substitution. We prefer to use sucanat (a minimally refined form of cane sugar) as our sweetener of choice. The flavor and preferred sweetness of this recipe does not change though.
As for the canned mandarin oranges, I don’t recommend making a substitute. For one, it’s hard to find fresh mandarins whenever you want them. And two, the recipe is much faster using the canned ones. Just be sure to pick the “mandarins in mandarin orange juice” NOT the ones in syrup. This will reduce the amount of added sugar that your kids don’t really need in the first place.
- 1 head romaine or red leaf lettuce
- 1½ cup chopped celery
- 4-5 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 can mandarin oranges, drained
- ½ cup lighter flavored olive oil
- ¼ cup tarragon or salad vinegar
- ¼ cup sugar (or a little less)
- ½ tspn tabasco
- 1 tspn salt
- freshly ground pepper to taste
Combine and shake vigorously.
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 3 TBLspn sugar
- Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Add sugar until dissolved slightly.
- Add almonds and cook, stirring frequently, until slightly browned. (Be careful, they burn easily!)
- Empty them out onto a cutting board or cookie sheet to cool.
- Break them up just before placing on the salad.
- Combine lettuce, celery, oranges, and onions in a large bowl.
- Toss with dressing and almonds just before serving.