The toasted almonds — tossed with honey and then coated with sesame seeds — are the real stars here. They're delicious enough on their own that I like to make an extra half-batch just to snack on. If you want to make this salad as your main dish, it pairs well with a protein like shrimp, chicken or seared beef.
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 2 cups whole raw almonds
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- One 11-ounce can mandarin oranges
- 2 heads butterhead or Bibb lettuce, torn into large pieces (about 8 cups)
- 1 cup canned chow mein noodles
For the dressing:
In a screw-top jar, combine the vinegar, oil, 1 tablespoon water, brown sugar and salt. Screw on the lid and shake well.
For the salad:
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a sheet pan with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, toss the almonds with the olive oil. Add the honey and coarse salt and toss to combine.
3. Spread the almonds evenly on the sheet pan and roast until toasted, about 12 minutes, stirring every 2-3 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Stir to coat. Let stand until cool, 10 minutes, then break any clumps of almonds apart.
4. Reserving the liquid, drain the mandarins and spread them on a paper towel to absorb excess moisture. Add the reserved liquid to the dressing jar and shake well.
5. In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, mandarins, almonds, and chow mein noodles.
6. Toss the salad with 1/4 cup of the dressing and serve the remaining dressing on the side.
7. Store the dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
Reprinted from "Magnolia Table, Volume 2." Copyright © 2020 by Joanna Gaines. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
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