Romaine Salad with Mandarins, Kohlrabi, and Orange Vinaigrette is another salad recipe I developed over the weekend. My intention was to create a raspberry vinaigrette salad dressing, but the only fruity vinegar I found at Trader Joe’s was their Orange Muscat Champagne Vinaigrette. Okay, sounds good to me! I can work with this.
Many of my vinaigrette recipes have some common denominators – shallots, fresh garlic, Dijon mustard, and freshly ground black pepper. However, with this dressing the mild onion flavor of shallots was overpowering, the mustard hid any trace of orange, the fresh garlic was too harsh, and everything was wrong with black pepper. All my fall-back flavors were wrong here. It tasted nothing of orange but it wasn’t even a good regular vinaigrette, either.
Instead of using the Dijon mustard as an emulsifying agent, I switched to honey. Instead of adding in shallots and garlic, I looked to my salad ingredients (mandarin oranges) to help the orange vinegar shine through. Some olive oil and salt were all that was needed – really, the TJ’s vinegar is almost a stand-alone dressing on its own.
For the salad itself, I chose romaine. I think butter lettuce would also be a good choice here. I julienned some kohlrabi for crunch, layered on some sweet mandarin orange slices, and topped it off with some sliced almonds. Delicious! A perfect summer salad.
- ½ c. orange champagne vinegar
- ¼ c. olive oil
- ¼ c. honey
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 c. romaine lettuce leaves
- 1 small kohlrabi, peeled and julienned
- ¼ c. mandarin orange slices, drained
- 2 T. sliced almonds
- In a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine vinegar, olive oil, honey, and salt. Cover, shake vigorously until well-combined. Set aside to blend flavors while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
- In a medium bowl, combine romaine leaves and kohlrabi.
- Add in mandarin orange slices. Drizzle with 2 T. vinaigrette and toss carefully with tongs until all greens are evenly coated.
- Arrange salad on a plate and top with almonds. Store remaining dressing covered in the refrigerator.