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 if that phrase is original–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 winter salad with clementine dressing utilizes those wonderful clementines that are everywhere this time of the year. We go through them like craaaazy. I love this clementine vanilla smoothie. I’m trying to trick my brain into thinking clementines are really candy.

Speaking of candy, you know what pairs perfectly with those tasty tart clementines? Vanilla bean candied walnuts. I just had to add the to this salad. The candied walnuts are…pretty much like candy. Minor details. It’s still a salad. Better than ice cream.

Enjoy this salad with clementine dressing as a side or as a really great lunch, which is what I have been doing. It rings all the bells: crunchy, sweet, tangy, everything a salad should have.

The clementine dressing is easy to make. It’s a simple vinaigrette combining clementine juice, honey, red wine vinegar, and olive oil. To make this salad vegan-friendly, use agave nectar or maple syrup instead of honey in the dressing.

I like to add parsley because I love the freshness that herbs give a salad. You can add a different herb if you like, or leave the herbs off. Feel free to use whatever green you like best, too. Use what’s available. 

To make this salad vegan-friendly, use agave nectar or maple syrup instead of the honey in the dressing.

For a really, really special salad, add goat cheese. Gorgonzola or blue cheese would be so wonderful, too. 

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

Craving salads?

Like I said, I’ve been on a salad kick. Here’s more great salad recipes:

 

Winter Salad with Clementine Dressing

Winter Salad with Clementine Dressing

Yield: 6 side servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
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.

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)

Instructions

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.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 of 6
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 225Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 136mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 3gSugar: 22gProtein: 3g

RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

Did you make this recipe?

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Verdict: Perfection, in my opinion. The flavors here are all just perfect for each other.
Husband’s take: I’m not sure he’s had a chance to try this. It’s one of my favorite lunch recipes so he misses out.
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.