The secret ingredient that gives this Winter Salad with Mandarin Oranges its unique and wintery taste, is rosemary. I chop fresh rosemary and sprinkle it in with oranges, sliced almonds and feta cheese, and it pairs beautifully with the homemade poppy seed dressing. The mix of the oranges and feta provide the winning combination of salty and sweet. It’s absolutely delicious!
Around Christmas, I hosted a brunch for a close friend of mine and her boyfriend. When they asked what they could bring, I asked for a salad. I thought it would go nicely with the fruit, quiche, french toast bake and charcuterie board we had planned, and it was this salad that she brought. I don’t think I had ever tasted a salad with rosemary before, but it was perfect!
Speaking of brunch…it’s a great way to enjoy savoury and sweet dishes together (plus it gives you a reason to be drinking mimosa’s and caesars in the morning!) Also, it’s a convenient time to get together with other parents, allowing the children to play in the morning and the parents to enjoy some adult time at the table. Win win!
Anyways, enough about how much I love brunch. This Winter Salad with Mandarin Oranges and rosemary is perfect to pair with any winter meal… lunch, dinner or brunch!
Now onto that dressing. The poppy seed dressing is simple to make, but the recipe does require the use of a blender. Primarily so that the white onion can get finely blended, to get the most flavour out of them. However, if you don’t have a blender at home you can certainly still make the dressing, just chop the onion very finely instead. Skip the store bought dressing and try this one! Make sure to refrigerate after use as this dressing stores well and can be used to top of a variety of other salads as well.
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- 140 g fresh baby spinach
- 2 mandarin oranges, peeled and segmented
- ¼ cup almonds, blanched, and slivered
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
- ¾ Cup White Vinegar
- 1½ Cup Canola Oil
- ¾ Cup Sugar
- 2 tbsp White onion chopped
- 1¼ tsp. Salt
- ¾ tsp Dry Mustard
- 1½ tbsp Poppy Seeds
- Mix spinach, oranges, almonds, feta cheese, and rosemary in a salad bowl
- Make the dressing by combining the vinegar, oil, sugar, onion, salt, and dry mustard in a blender.
- Blend on high for at least 1 minute, or until the onion is fully chopped up and emulsified into the dressing.
- Add the poppy seeds and pulse a few times until incorporated into the dressing.
- Add dressing to the salad to your liking and refrigerate remaining dressing for future use.