Prep 20 mins
Cook 15 mins
This refreshing and beautiful salad comes from Paula M., an amazing cook and hostess.
- 1⁄4 cup walnuts (rough chop)
- 1⁄4 cup pecans (rough chop)
- 1⁄4 cup almonds (rough chop)
- 1 tablespoon butter (melted)
- 1⁄4 cup corn syrup
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1⁄3 cup rice vinegar
- 1⁄2 cup orange juice
- 1 cup canola oil
- 2⁄3 ounce Italian dressing, mix (1 packet Good Seasons Italian All Natural Salad Dressing powdered mix)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon poppy seed
- 10 ounces baby spinach leaves (or a mixture of any fresh greens)
- 1 avocado (diced)
- 1⁄2 cup blueberries (fresh)
- 1⁄2 cup blackberry (fresh)
- 11 ounces mandarin oranges (drained)
- 1⁄2 cup strawberry (fresh, sliced)
- 1⁄3 cup romano cheese (the aged, hard cheese, NOT the powdered or shredded, and use a vegetable peeler to shave small slice)
- First, prepare the candied nuts, by mixing the chopped walnuts, pecans, and almonds with the melted butter and corn syrup.
- Spread the nut mixture on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes.
- Scrape the hot nut mixture into a thin layer on wax paper to cool.
- Once the nuts have cooled, break them up (or roughly chop with a knife) into bite-sized pieces.
- Next, prepare the dressing by combining the sugar, vinegar, orange juice, canola oil, and Good Seasons Italian dressing mix in a blender.
- Stir in the poppy seeds and refrigerate.
- Finally, prepare the salad by layering the spinach with the fruit, cheese, and nuts onto a serving platter.
- Drizzle the entire platter with the dressing just before serving (or I prefer to allow guests to ladle their own dressing on their personal serving, so they can take as much or as little as they want, plus if there are any leftovers of the salad, it will last longer without the dressing).
- NOTE: You can use any fruit combinations you prefer, just limit it to 3-4 fruits. I suggest trying pears, pomegranite seeds, raspberries, bananas, or grapefruit. Green onions are another great addition.