Quantcast

Mixed Greens Salad with Mandarins, Toasted Almonds, & Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette

This Asian-inspired vinaigrette — bursting with flavors of ginger, garlic, sesame, soy sauce, rice vinegar, & honey — is the perfect accompaniment to mixed greens topped with sweet orange segments, crunchy almonds, and creamy avocado chunks.

Mixed Greens Salad with Mandarins, Toasted Almonds, Avocado, and Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette  |  {Five Heart Home}I realize that it’s fall and that we’re in the throes of comfort food/casserole/crock pot season here, but sometimes I still get a hankering for a good salad. Regardless of season, this salad is one of my favorites. Or I could also say that regardless of salad, this vinaigrette is one of my favorites. I think you could put it on various combinations of greens/veggies/fruit/nuts and it would be delicious.

But in my humble opinion, it’s perfectly complemented by mandarin or clementine oranges, which are conveniently in season through the late fall and winter months. Oranges go especially nicely with almonds (don’t you think?), so I toss those in as well. And while avocado has a relatively neutral flavor, I love the richness and creamy texture that it adds to a salad while mellowing out the vinaigrette.

Mixed Greens Salad with Mandarins, Toasted Almonds, Avocado, and Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette  |  {Five Heart Home}This vinaigrette is one of the best I’ve ever had. Back when I was a first grade teacher, one of my student’s sweet moms once brought me a salad with a jar of this dressing and the accompanying recipe. From that point on, I was hooked. This gingery vinaigrette has an Asian flair that’s salty from the soy sauce, nutty from the sesame oil, tangy from the rice vinegar, warm from the ginger and garlic, and sweet from the honey.

In summary? It’s a party in your mouth. I really can’t describe to you how perfectly all of those flavors meld together. You’re just going to have to take my word for it and try it for yourself!

Mixed Greens Salad with Mandarins, Toasted Almonds, Avocado, and Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette  |  {Five Heart Home}Yessiree Bob…you can turn an ordinary salad special just by dressing it with this vinaigrette. But if you also toss some sweet, juicy mandarin segments, cool cubes of avocado, and toasty almond slices onto your bed of greens, your salad course will instantly be elevated to the next level. I’m a sucker for adding fruit and nuts to salads, and this strategy always seems to appeal to my kids as well. However, I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t love this particular fruity/nutty salad at first bite, even those who previously professed to prefer their greens unadultered.

Mixed Greens Salad with Mandarins, Toasted Almonds, Avocado, and Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette  |  {Five Heart Home}When I made this salad last night, I decided to turn it into an entree by slicing up some tasty leftover Panko crusted chicken I had hanging out in the refrigerator, and laying it on top. Would you believe that my kids left nary a leaf of salad on their plates? It was good, y’all.

In the past, we’ve also enjoyed this vinaigrette drizzled over various raw veggies (think red peppers, shredded cabbage, even broccoli!). But if you’re not feeling your greens, this dressing is particularly outstanding at giving an Asian flair to grilled or roasted salmon and seared tuna. If you’re a fan of Ahi Tuna + Ginger, this combo will be right up your alley. (Yum.)

Mixed Greens Salad with Mandarins, Toasted Almonds, Avocado, and Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette  |  {Five Heart Home}I like to use my mini food processor when I make vinaigrettes. I toss in my garlic cloves and chunks of ginger and process until they’re minced to smithereens. Then I add my other ingredients and whir it all together until everything is well blended. However, you can certainly finely mince (or even grate) your garlic and ginger, and then shake everything up a tightly sealed Mason jar (or rapidly whisk it all together in a big bowl).

Now some of the ingredients that comprise this vinaigrette might not be ones that you already have laying around, but if you buy them once, I promise you’ll be using them to make this vinaigrette time and time again. As for the type of sesame oil recommended, I’ve used regular and toasted before and they both work great. And as with any salad dressing recipe, tweak amounts of this and that according to your tastes. For instance, after you blend everything together and give it a taste, you can always add another squeeze of honey if you prefer your dressing a tad sweeter.

Don’t get me wrong, folks…my crock pot and I are BFFs this time of year. But on a crisp fall day, a salad can also be surprisingly refreshing. If you’re drawn to a variety of textures and flavors, I think you’ll really enjoy this salad. And if you like ginger, sesame, and all flavors Asian, you are going to downright love it.

Mixed Greens Salad with Mandarins, Toasted Almonds, & Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette

Mixed Greens Salad with Mandarins, Toasted Almonds, & Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette

This Asian-inspired vinaigrette -- bursting with flavors of ginger, garlic, sesame, soy sauce, rice vinegar, & honey -- is the perfect accompaniment to mixed greens topped with sweet orange segments, crunchy almonds, and creamy avocado chunks.

Ingredients

    For the vinaigrette:
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced or grated
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • For each salad:
  • Mixed greens
  • 1 small orange (such as a mandarin, clementine, Cutie, tangerine, etc.)
  • 1/2 avocado, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons toasted almonds

Directions

    For the vinaigrette:
  1. Add all ingredients to a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously until mixture is well-blended. Alternatively, you may chop garlic and ginger in a mini food processor, then add remaining ingredients and process until blended.
  2. Store dressing in the refrigerator and remove it 30 minutes before serving to allow it to come to room temperature. Shake well before serving.
  3. For each salad:
  4. Place your desired amount of mixed greens on a plate. Arrange orange segments and avocado chunks over the top. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and drizzle with vinaigrette, to taste.

Tips, Tricks, & Variations

To toast your sliced almonds, spread them out on a sheet pan and bake them in a preheated 350° oven, checking every 2 minutes. You will know they are done when they are fragrant with just a hint of color. Mine were toasted after about 5 minutes, but watch them carefully as they can burn in an instant!

Use a spoon, rather than a knife, to scrape the soft skin off of your ginger.

http://www.fivehearthome.com/2013/10/23/mixed-greens-salad-with-mandarins-toasted-almonds-sesame-ginger-vinaigrette/

Let’s stay in touch!

Facebook   |   Google+   |   Pinterest   |   Twitter   |   Instagram

Sign up to have new blog posts sent to your inbox!

I always love hearing from you! ~ samantha {at} five heart home {dot} com

 

This post may be linked up to House of Rose, 4 Little Fergusons, and these fabulous parties!

Signature


Comments

  1. This salad looks delicious, Samantha! Salads like this are the best way for me to eat a lot of veggies. I’m so glad I stopped by to drool over the pictures from Moonlight and Mason Jars. Have an awesome day!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thank you, Carrie! I totally agree…I seem to get lots more veggies into my family (and myself!) on the days I fix a salad. My boys can be reluctant about eating salad unless I make it interesting, but this is one of their favorites. :) I really appreciate you stopping by…hope your day is great, too!

  2. Love how fresh and tangy this looks! I gotta make asian inspired dressings more often, I tend to forget how good they taste!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks, Yvonne! I agree…I’ll go awhile without making this one, and then when I think to make it again, I can’t believe I went so long without it! It really is one of my favorites. Hope you get to try it and enjoy it, too. :) Thanks for stopping by!

  3. YUMMY! This looks delicious, I love trying new salad!

  4. This looks amazing! Pinned!

  5. Anytime is a great time for a salad. Specially if it looks as tasty as this one. And that vinagrette? Wow, it sounds amazing! I’m so trying it soon. I lvoe the avocado addition as well, you can never go wromg with it ;)

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks, Consuelo! I totally agree…avocado makes everything better. Maybe it’s related to bacon somehow? ;) Thanks for stopping by…hope you had a great weekend!

  6. This salad looks not only incredibly delicious, but gorgeous!! I love all of the color! :)

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much, Jocelyn! It did look pretty colorful and refreshing after some of the monotone soups and casseroles I’ve been cooking lately… ;) Hope your week is off to a great start!

  7. This looks delicious! Can’t wait to try it:)

Speak Your Mind

*