Our Moore family Christmas is actually a mash-up of Christmas celebration and birthday party for my mom. One of her gifts isn't wrapped up in paper and bows. It's having the entire family at their house to celebrate.
Part of that celebration includes a teamwork effort to provide supper for a bunch of people. We are up to 31, so the celebratory supper has now moved to a shed, and it takes more than one table to hold all the offerings. And while the baby didn't eat much of the evening spread, everyone else enjoys the potluck of sides and salads that we all contribute to go with the beef brisket main course.
It's fun to try a new recipe when you have that many willing guinea pigs. So Crunchy Apple Almond Salad was one of my contributions. I'd printed it from a blog in that growing "to-be-tried" pile in my kitchen. It was time for a "try." Thankfully, it wasn't a swing and a miss.
It's an easy recipe to double or triple or quadruple for that extra-large crowd. But it's also good for a dinner for just us two.
Crunchy Apple Almond Salad
Adapted from Cooking on the Front Burner1 bag of spring greens or romaine lettuce, chopped (or combination)
1/2 cup craisins
1 tart apple, seeded and chopped
1 small can mandarin oranges, drained
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup sliced celery (opt.)
1/2 cup ditalini pasta, cooked, drained, rinsed and cooled
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup almonds
1 tbsp. butter
1 1/2 tbsp. brown sugar
4 tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
2 tbsp. champagne vinegar
2 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. poppy seeds
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. dijon mustard
For nuts: In medium skillet, melt butter and brown sugar. Saute the almonds until they are glazed and light brown. Remove and cool on parchment paper. Break up when cool and then store in plastic bag until ready to use.
Dressing: Combine all ingredients in a small container with a lid and shake until mixed. Store in refrigerator until used. Shake before pouring over salad.
For salad: Combine salad ingredients just before serving. Toss. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss gently to combine. Sprinkle nuts on top and serve immediately.
- I used a combination of spring mix and also chopped up some romaine lettuce. I prefer chopping my own rather than buying it in the bag because I think it stays fresher for longer.
- You can increase the ingredients for both the salad and the dressing to serve more people. Refrigerate leftovers.
- I did not use celery because too many family members don't care for it.