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

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

Ingredients:

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)

Directions:

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.
All images and text ©Rachel Cooks.

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.

 

Actual nutrition may vary depending on how recipe is prepared.

Actual nutrition may vary depending on how recipe is prepared.

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

Winter salads don't have to be boring -- this one is spectacular thanks to vanilla bean candied walnuts and bright citrusy clementine dressing. Get the recipe on RachelCooks.com!