Asian Sesame Clementine Salad {Winter Salad Dressing}

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Meet our most frequent winter meal.  As soon as winter descends and produce sections brim with clementines, our house is never without the crucial ingredients – ginger, garlic, clementines.   It’s a fresh and flavorful salad that breaks up the monotony of hearty winter meals.  As my sister, who is living with us for the next few months will attest, we eat this meal at least once a week, usually pairing it with a baked potato or gluten-free roll.

This dressing recipe started from Ree Drummond’s Ginger Steak Salad.  It’s been tweaked and modified, and has taken on a life of its own at our house.

And I love it.

www.accidentalokie.com | Asian Clementine SaladIf you want meat on your salad, start cooking that first.  To be budget friendly and because I knew I’d be serving the meat off the bone anyways, I bought a pack of chicken quarters for $3.50 and cooked them in my cast iron skillet with a little salt and pepper.

Next make the salad dressing.  It’s easy and amazing.  I like to make my salad dressings in a container with a tight-fitting lid.

www.accidentalokie.com | Asian Clementine SaladStart with a quarter cup of sugar.  Don’t worry, it’s not gross sweet.

www.accidentalokie.com | Asian Clementine SaladA quarter cup of soy sauce.  I use San-J gluten free soy sauce.  It’s ah-mazing!

www.accidentalokie.com | Asian Clementine SaladA quarter cup of olive oil.  Olive oil in an Asian recipe, you say?  Oh yes.  It works.  It’s good.

www.accidentalokie.com | Asian Clementine SaladOne-eighth a cup of lime or lemon juice.  You can even use the bottled stuff.  Sorry Barefoot Contessa.  I know you frown on bottled juices, but they’re part of my arsenal.

www.accidentalokie.com | Asian Clementine SaladTwo tablespoons of minced ginger.

Ginger is really fibrous, so it needs to be cut into small pieces.  You can even bruise it a little with the flat edge of your knife.  Also, about half an inch of average-width ginger is a tablespoon.  After making this salad every winter for a few years, I can accurately gauge the ginger about ninety percent of the time.

I know.  You’re equal parts amazed and jealous.

www.accidentalokie.com | Asian Clementine SaladFour cloves of minced garlic (or four teaspoons of bottled minced garlic).  Vampires beware.

www.accidentalokie.com | Asian Clementine SaladSesame oil is amazing.  It has a subtle toasted sesame flavor and is best in small doses.  Just a teaspoon or so will add a rich flavor.

You can buy a little bottle for five or so bucks at the fancy grocery store or a bottle this size for about a dollar at the Asian grocery store.

www.accidentalokie.com | Asian Clementine SaladSriracha sauce is a spicy Thai sauce made from smoked chilies, sugar and vinegar.  And in my world, it’s a kitchen staple.

www.accidentalokie.com | Asian Clementine SaladStart with half a teaspoon.  Sriracha is spicy!

Seal up your container with a tight lid and give it a good shake.  Taste and add more Sriracha if you want it spicier.

www.accidentalokie.com | Asian Clementine SaladAfter the meat has cooled, add some to the top of your lettuce.  Use whatever kind of lettuce you want.  I’m preferential to hearts of romaine.

www.accidentalokie.com | Asian Clementine SaladFinally, top with clementine slices, green onions (not pictured because I forgot them…major bummer), and sesame seeds.  Spoon on the dressing to get an even distribution of the garlic and ginger.  Behold the perfect winter salad.

www.accidentalokie.com | Asian Clementine Salad

 

Asian Sesame Clementine Salad
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Dressing
  1. 1/4 cup sugar
  2. 1/4 cup olive oil
  3. 1/4 cup soy sauce
  4. 1/8 cup lemon or lime juice
  5. 2 tbsp ginger, minced
  6. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  7. 1-2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  8. 1/2 tsp Sriracha sauce, more to taste
Salad
  1. Lettuce
  2. 1 clementine per salad, pealed and wedged
  3. 1 green onion, sliced per salad
  4. 1 tbsp sesame seeds per salad
  5. chicken or beef, grilled or pan fried
Instructions
  1. Make the salad dressing in a shakeable container. Assemble the salad and add the dressing. Enjoy!
  2. Yields 4 small salads or 2 dinner salads.
The Accidental Okie http://theaccidentalokie.com/

 

Pomegranate Hazelnut Vinaigrette Recipe

I love homemade salad dressing.

Salad dressing is easy to make, contains no mystery ingredients and tastes much better than most store bought-dressings.  Every season I have a salad dressing that becomes the usual.  This fall has been no different.

It took a bit of tweaking, but I created a salad dressing that complements all my favorite flavors of fall.

It has just a few ingredients, each unique and bursting with rich flavor.

Pomegranate molasses is ultra-concentrated pomegranate juice.  Every time I get out my bottle from the fridge, this loud 1950’s Charlton Heston-esque epic movie voice comes in my head and says: The juice from a thooooooooooousand pomegranates. 

Sorry – just keeping it real.

Pomegranate molasses is incredibly inexpensive.  I think my bottle – which I’ve had for two years – was $5.  It is sweet and tart and unmistakable.

Next is roasted hazelnut oil.  You could also use roasted walnut oil.  Either way, don’t use a refined version of either oil.  These roasted oils are rich and flavorful, and not meant for cooking.  They are made for salad dressings and drizzling on things.  This La Tourangelle oil is my new favorite thing.  It’s a bit pricey and should be stored in the refrigerator after opening.

And finally, the little black dress of vinegars – balsamic.  Sweet and tangy and scrumptious.

Pomegranate Molasses

Start with the pomegranate molasses.  Just one tablespoon will do. It is thick and decadent.  You’ll fall in love with it!

Next add a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.

Swish the two together.

hazelnut oilNext add six tablespoons of hazelnut oil.  It is light in color and rich in flavor.  It smells like roasted hazelnuts and could be eaten by itself.

Just a bit of kosher salt will bring out all the flavors without making the vinaigrette salty.  A bit of brown sugar will cut the tartness of the pomegranate molasses and make the dressing the perfect complement to sweet, sliced apples or yummy pomegranate seeds – both essential ingredients to fall salads.

One mistake I made when testing this recipe was adding dijon mustard.  The molasses is tart enough on its own.

The final result is a light but flavorful complement to the perfect fall salad!  My favorite salad to accompany this vinaigrette is made of lettuce, sliced gala apples, sliced green onions, Parmesan cheese, black pepper and pecans.  It’s perfect with roasted chicken on a crisp fall evening.

This recipe makes about eight tablespoons of vinaigrette.  I make such a small batch because with the expensive oil, I don’t want any to go to waste.  This amount is enough for two or three large dinner-sized salads or four to six small side salads.

Pomegranate Hazelnut Vinaigrette Recipe
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Ingredients
  1. 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  2. 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  3. 6 tbsp roasted hazelnut oil
  4. 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  5. 1/2 tsp brown sugar
Instructions
  1. Mix the pomegranate molasses and vinegar. Next add the roasted hazelnut oil. Mix together. Add the salt and sugar. Taste and add more sugar if you'd like.
  2. Enjoy on your favorite fall salad. Other great topping suggestions: spinach, pomegranate seeds, persimmons, dried cranberries, hazelnuts, walnuts, feta, pears, figs, roasted and shelled pumpkin seeds. It's all the tastes of the season in one salad bowl!
The Accidental Okie http://theaccidentalokie.com/