Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Caribbean Salad with Sweet Orange Vinaigrette

 Oh how I love a good salad.

When we go out to dinner, chances are that I am going to order a salad.  My husband usually groans and rolls his eyes and says that "we could just have that at home".

True, but it always sounds good and I love how filling it is.  I can eat a gigantic plate and feel full but still great.  And if they have specialty vinaigrettes--so yummy!

I love making my own dressing at home.  I know exactly what's in it and can taylor it to what kind of salad we are having.  This sweet orange vinaigrette is so tasty and we all loved it.

Caribbean Salad with Sweet Orange Vinaigrette

(click here for printable version)

1 large bunch Romaine Lettuce
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, grilled (however you like)
8 oz can mandarin oranges, drained
1 red bell pepper, sliced
4-5 green onions, sliced
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
6-8 tbsp cranberries
Black or regular sesame seeds, optional
Diced fresh pineapple, optional (but awesome if you have it)

1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (about 1/2 of a large navel orange)
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup canola oil

1.  Prepare dressing by combining orange juice, vinegar, dry mustard, sugar, sesame oil, and salt in the jar of a blender.  Blend until sugar is dissolved, several minutes.  With blender running on low, either remove stopper in blender lid or crack the corner, and slowly drizzle in oil, mixing until just combined.  Store dressing in fridge until ready to use.

2.  To make salads, divide lettuce between 4 plates, top with grilled chicken, mandarin oranges, bell pepper, green onions, cilantro, cranberries, and pineapple (if using).   Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Serves 4 for a main dish, or 6-8 sides.  Enjoy!

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