A colourful burst of flavour and goodness!
If you’ve spent any time scrolling through the recipes here, you’ve likely discovered by now that I am a big fan of salads. This is a new favourite, both for its flavour and contrasting textures. In this recipe, I like to use a variety of greens including romaine lettuce for crunch and baby red lettuce for colour. Use any neutral oil you prefer for the dressing, such as canola, safflower, avocado, etc. For a gluten-free option, use tamari instead of the soy sauce and sunflower seeds in place of the fried noodles.
Dressing and garnish:
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) maple syrup or honey
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons (45 mL) vegetable oil
- 1 3 oz (85 g) package instant ramen noodles
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) vegetable oil
- 1 10 oz / 284 mL can mandarin orange segments
- 6 cups (270 g) mixed greens
- 1 cup (100 g) diced cucumber
- 1/2 cup (45 g) grated carrot
- 1 cup (180 g) halved grape tomatoes
- 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
- 2 tablespoons (12 g) minced green onion tops
- 2 tablespoons (18 g) toasted sesame seeds
- Prepare the vinaigrette up to 48 hours in advance by shaking together the soy sauce, maple syrup, rice vinegar, sesame oil and 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a small jar with a tight lid. Refrigerate until needed.
- Prepare the crunchy garnish by opening the ramen noodle package. Discard the seasoning packets (or reserve for another use). Place the noodles in a sturdy plastic bag or a sheet of parchment folded into an envelope and crush the noodles into small pieces (no more than 1/2 inch or 1.25 cm) with a rolling pin or sturdy mug. Heat the 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a broad skillet. When the oil is hot, add the ramen noodle pieces and stir well to coat evenly with oil. Cook until toasted and golden brown, about 2 – 3 minutes, stirring continuously so they don’t burn. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Once cooled, noodles can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week. You’ll only use about a quarter of them for this salad so save the rest to perk up another meal.
- Drain the can of mandarin orange segments then spread the segments out on a paper towel-lined plate to dry for at least 10 minutes or up to 2 hours.
- To make the salad, toss together in a large bowl the greens, cucumber, carrot and tomatoes. Drizzle about half of the dressing over top and toss again; continue to add dressing one tablespoon at a time until everything is evenly coated but there is no puddle of dressing in the bottom.
- Scatter the avocado and orange segments over top and toss one more time, very gently. Sprinkle minced green onions, toasted sesame seeds and 1/2 cup of the toasted ramen noodles over top and serve immediately.
Serves 2 as a main course or 4 as a side salad.