Rachel Cooks

Winter Salad with Clementine Dressing and Vanilla Bean Candied Walnuts

Winter salads don’t have to be boring — this one is spectacular thanks to vanilla bean candied walnuts and bright citrusy clementine dressing.

Winter Salad With Clementine Dressing and Vanilla Bean Candied Walnuts | RachelCooks.com

I’ve been on a huge salad kick lately. Mostly because I can actually stomach them again, something I couldn’t really do while I was pregnant.

I couldn’t really stomach anything besides popcorn and ice cream while I was pregnant. Which brings me to reason #2 why I’ve been eating a lot of salads: baby weight.

It needs to go. ASAP.

I coined the phrase “A salad a day keeps the love handles away.” Actually I have no idea–someone else could have said that already but I’m living it.

Except in my case, it should read, “A salad a day makes the love handles go away. Pretty please. No really, I’m begging.”

Winter Salad With Clementine Dressing and Vanilla Bean Candied Walnuts | RachelCooks.com

This salad utilizes those wonderful clementines that are everywhere this time of the year. We go through them like craaaazy. I’m trying to trick my brain into thinking they are candy. You know what pairs perfectly with those tasty tart clementines? Vanilla bean candied walnuts. Which are…pretty much like candy. Minor details. It’s still a salad. Better than ice cream.

Enjoy this salad as a side or as a really great lunch, which is what I have been doing. It has crunchy, sweet, tangy, everything a salad should have. I added some parsley because I love the freshness that herbs give a salad.

Winter Salad With Clementine Dressing and Vanilla Bean Candied Walnuts | RachelCooks.com

Winter Salad with Clementine Dressing

Yield: 4-6 side servings

Total Time: 10 minutes

Winter salads don't have to be boring -- this one is spectacular thanks to vanilla bean candied walnuts and bright citrusy clementine dressing.


For the Dressing:

  • ¼ cup clementine juice (from about 2 clementines)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the Salad:

  • 1 head of red leaf lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
  • ½ cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 3 clementines, peeled, segments separated and cut in half
  • ½ cup vanilla bean candied walnuts
  • dressing to taste (there may be extra)


For the Dressing:

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a jar (shake shake shake!) or a small bowl (whisk whisk whisk!)

For the Salad:

  1. Add all ingredients to a large bowl.
  2. Add dressing and toss immediately before serving.

Verdict: Perfection, in my opinion. The flavors here are all just perfect for each other.
Husband’s take: He didn’t try any. I made just a small bowl of this for myself one day.
Changes I would make: None are necessary, but the great thing about salads is that you can customize them with whatever you have in the house. Sub cherries for cranberries, use plain toasted walnuts instead of the candied. Not that I really recommend that, but it would make it a bit healthier. Use spinach instead of lettuce…do your own thing!
Difficulty: So easy.

Check out these other great salads that I’ve added to my Pinterest boards–I have been craving salads like crazy!

Crispy Chickpea and Butternut Squash Salad from Mountain Mama Cooks
Roasted Beet and Citrus Salad from A Thought for Food
Black Bean Salad with Jicama, Tomatoes, Cilantro and Lime from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Spring Orzo Pasta Salad with Artichokes and Asparagus from Food for My Family
Cheddar and Apple Winter Salad with Balsamic Feta Dressing from Bake Your Day

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34 Responses to “Winter Salad with Clementine Dressing and Vanilla Bean Candied Walnuts”

  1. Cassie | Bake Your Day — February 7, 2013 at 8:51 am

    We have been on a big salad kick too. I’m trying these candied walnuts ASAP!

    • Rachel Gurk — February 7th, 2013 @ 6:58 pm

      You HAVE to! They are so good. :)

  2. Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough — February 7, 2013 at 8:54 am

    I am hardcore craving EVERYTHING about this salad — especially those candied walnuts! So much YUM.

    • Rachel Gurk — February 7th, 2013 @ 6:59 pm

      The walnuts are key to the success of this salad. 😉

  3. Gerry @ foodness gracious — February 7, 2013 at 9:05 am

    Awesome looking salad, I’m also trying to eat more salad but its sooo hard when there’s so many distractions out there :) good luck!

    • Rachel Gurk — February 7th, 2013 @ 7:00 pm

      Haha, for sure. But the candied walnuts make salads a bit more exciting :)

  4. Laurie {Simply Scratch} — February 7, 2013 at 9:44 am

    I love a good salad and I love that you used clementine juice in the vinaigrette! Sooo yummy :)

    • Rachel Gurk — February 7th, 2013 @ 7:00 pm

      We’ve been eating clementines like it is going out of style.

  5. Bree {Skinny Mommy} — February 7, 2013 at 10:04 am

    I love your coined phrase–too funny!

    • Rachel Gurk — February 7th, 2013 @ 7:02 pm

      I seem to remember the baby weight leaving faster last time but that’s probably just time making my memories look a little better… 😉

  6. Bev @ Bev Cooks — February 7, 2013 at 10:21 am

    I’m going in!

    • Rachel Gurk — February 7th, 2013 @ 7:03 pm

      I’ll spot ya!

  7. Jessica@AKitchenAddiction — February 7, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Love everything about this salad, especially those candied walnuts!

    • Rachel Gurk — February 7th, 2013 @ 7:03 pm

      Thanks Jessica!

  8. Alaina @ Fabtastic Eats — February 7, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    ah yum, I love clementines! I really wish I could be on a salad kick..I want to be, my body doesn’t! But it would truly help with your mantra..”A salad a day, keeps the love handles away!” haha It’s so much harder to actually lose the baby weight than to just say Im going to!

    • Rachel Gurk — February 7th, 2013 @ 7:04 pm

      Doesn’t it seem like it was way easier with the first kid?

  9. Sheila — February 7, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Oh how i love salad…but I rarely make them. Why I’m not sure. This one looks fabulous!

    • Rachel Gurk — February 7th, 2013 @ 7:08 pm

      Thanks Sheila!

  10. Kathy - Panini Happy — February 7, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    I love candied nuts in salads…this one sounds like a winner to me!

    • Rachel Gurk — February 7th, 2013 @ 7:08 pm

      Thanks Kathy! I love candied nuts too, they are like candy.

  11. Rachael — February 7, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    Pretty salad, Rachel!

  12. Erika @ The Hopeless Housewife — February 7, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    What a gorgeous salad and those candied walnuts sound divine!

  13. angela @ another bite please — February 7, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    you had me at Clementine…love how fresh this looks but sounds so perfect for a winter salad…baby love handles…i feel your pain.

  14. Kathryn — February 8, 2013 at 5:25 am

    What a lovely salad – I love how bright and fresh it is!

  15. Jenny @ BAKE — February 8, 2013 at 10:43 am

    I love that phrase! that’s going to have to be my summer motto! this salad looks really delicious!

  16. natalie@thesweetslife — February 8, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    something tells me you’re looking fab, but i’m always down for a yummy salad! esp one like this!

  17. Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef — February 9, 2013 at 10:00 am

    oh delish!! i love that dressing idea :)

  18. Kelly Senyei | Just a Taste — February 12, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    I absolutely love this citrus-inspired dressing! I’m constantly on the lookout for how to make the most of winter citrus. This looks great!

    • Rachel Gurk — February 12th, 2013 @ 3:33 pm

      Thanks Kelly! I love the winter citrus too but cannot wait for the spring and summer produce!

  19. Aggie — February 12, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    Oh Rachel this salad is calling my name!!!


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