September 11, 2012
1 bag cut-up lettuce
2 cucumbers, unpeeled, sliced in half lengthwise, and then cut diagonally
handful whole cherry tomatoes
1 carrot, peeled into long strips and then cut in half (if the bag of lettuce has carrot sticks, leave this out)
handful mandarin oranges
½ cup regular or low-fat mayonnaise
3–4 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard or spicy brown mustard
1/8 cup water
Topping — Caramelized Almonds
½ cup slivered almonds
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp sugar
The dressing and topping can be prepared a day or two in advance. Mix dressing ingredients with a hand blender and set aside.
For the topping: In a nonstick frying pan, heat almonds and sugar on a medium-high flame. Stand over almonds and watch carefully. As soon as sugar starts to liquidize, mix with a wooden spoon. When sugar is brown, lower flame and stir constantly so the almonds don’t burn. When all sugar has melted and almonds are toasted, take pan off fire and pour mixture onto parchment paper. Cool for a few minutes and then break into pieces.
To serve: Place all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Immediately before serving, pour a small amount of dressing over the salad, enough to lightly coat the leaves, and toss. Mix well. (You can also serve the dressing on the side.) Top with caramelized almonds.
Note: You can change quantities/types of ingredients. Don’t hesitate to mix mild-flavored greens with more assertive ones, and if you prefer a different flavor of mustard, just one cucumber, or no carrots, that’s fine. It’s good to experiment!