My Favourite Salad

My Favourite Salad

My Favourite Salad

It’s coming to the end of fresh salad season where I live. The weather will cool off and all the lettuce and greens will soon be imported again. The grocery store is giving away free romaine with every order. Hmm, how many salads can I actually eat?

My Favourite Salad contains lots of treats and is not economical. At all. I will share anyway and hide from negative comments in my elitist refrigerator 🙂

It was loosely inspired by the Summer Sweet Salad at the Magic Oven restaurant chain, which is made with baby greens, avocado, mango and walnuts.

This recipe makes 1 large meal-sized salad. I upsize it four-fold to make a large bowl to share with a group of people.

  • About 6 large outer leaves of romaine lettuce, washed and patted dry, then torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 30 g crumbled goat cheese
  • 30 g walnut pieces
  • 15 g dried sweetened cranberries
  • 1/4 cup tinned mandarin orange pieces, drained
  • 3 tablespoons prepared salad dressing (I use raspberry vinaigrette)

Some substitutions I’ve tried are sliced strawberries, mangoes, peaches or avocado for the mandarin oranges, and pecans for walnuts.

This salad is high in calories but high in nutrients too, so it keeps me going all day.

Do you have a favourite or “default” salad?


  1. My default salad I call ‘crunchy salad’ – and whilst there were guides to amounts, I like no waste, so I cut up a whole red capsicum, celery, apple and cashews. Oh and a big tin of tuna. I didn’t finish the mammoth batch the other day, but it does work well to get veggies in me (as well as soup). Yours sounds very tasty, though I’ve never bought mandarin pieces, do you ever try fresh ones? Or you don’t get them fresh in your area?

    • I have been meaning to try a chopped salad like that! Fresh Mandarin oranges and clementines are for sale at Christmas time – they come from Morocco – but the rest of the year they aren’t very good.

  2. Salad–you name it and I am there!

  3. Yours looks very colourful and inviting! My favourite and go-to salad is mixed lettuce leaves, cherry tomatoes, Persian feta, cucumber and avocado with a balsamic vinaigrette. I love, but don’t make often because of the roasting time, roast sweet potatoes and roast red onions with baby spinach leaves in same vinaigrette. I love fruit and nuts but can’t stand them in salads, except avo! And like Sarah, I have never had tinned mandarin pieces.

    Oh, and I love tabouli. But only if it is made fresh.

    • I know what you mean about the fruit and nuts – sometimes I call this my Trail Mix salad! I also love Greek salad, similar to what you described with an oregano dressing. I agree with you on the tabbouleh!

  4. Mmm…that sounds so summery and fresh! Good timing to post it now for those of us about to hit summer in the southern hemisphere 😀 My fave salad is a Vietnamese salad that is full of herbs and delicious things we don’t eat often like pea-shoots.

  5. My son looks forward to winter every year because of mandarin season. We go through several kilos every week. Love the easy peel ones. I won’t buy fruit that is imported. The environmental cost of transport is too much. And having a sense of seasons makes you look forward to the next season’s fruit. About to hit mango season. Yum!

  6. My favourite salad is made with roast veggies (sweet potato, pumpkin, onion, beetroot… whatever I have) plus baby spinach leaves, avocado, mango and blue cheese, with a balsamic vinegar dressing 🙂 Yours sounds really good though 🙂

  7. Ginger R

    My favorite salad is much like yours – except I use spinach instead of romaine – and whatever fresh fruit I have on hand (apples, peaches, strawberries, pears) – recently fresh pears from our own new trees. I use whatever cheese I have on hand – usually feta but I’ve even used cheddar. I also use walnuts/pecans, dried cranberries and raspberry vinaigrette. I could live off this salad.

  8. Jodi

    After reading your post, I was hungering for a salad for supper. Mine was spinach, red pepper, feta, walnuts, coconut bacon and poppy seed dressing. Now I am full and satisfied. I have made one similar to yours and I too love raspberry dressing.

  9. I am now switching over to our Winter Salads where I grate a lot of the winter veg and toss in a dressing. I especially love raw cauliflower for the crunch but I would normally just blanch the Broccoli a little and add blanched almonds. I had thin slices of raw Parsnips in a dressing the other day in a cafe – it was quite nice as I am not a Parsnip fan unless roasted.
    I don’t think I have ever made the same two salads alike – they are a bit like my soups! I will try your recipe above though it looks very tempting.

  10. Your salad looks delicious. My go-to salad is just whatever greens we have on hand along with whatever fresh veg we have (carrots, celery, cucumber, etc) and nuts or seeds or dried cranberries. My kids love the dressing from East Side Marios, so I looked up a copycat recipe and have been making it a lot lately.

  11. Ginger R

    Another favorite salad is made with cauliflower, broccoli, carrots and red onion. Blanche the cauliflower and broccoli and chop everything into chunks – toss with Italian dressing. Serve cold. When my 3 sisters and I have a sisters’ retreat – we do a big batch and eat on it all weekend usually as a side with some protein. This salad keeps really well too. Love it! Now – I’m going to have to make it….

  12. Your salad looks good. I recently discovered the joy of avocado in salads. I don’t know what rock I’ve been hiding under but I’m glad to be out!! 🙂

  13. I’ve only recently started eating salads with fruit and even though it feel weird to me, I really like it! Especially something a little bitter mixed with a super sweet fruit (like arugula and pineapple). I love romaine, so maybe I’ll try it with mandarin oranges next time. 🙂

  14. How delicious, I love goats cheese. I make something similar but I use orange instead of mandarin and flaked almonds instead of walnuts.

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  16. Holly

    When I have excess romaine (it happens) I halve it, brush it with olive oil and dust with something spicy and then grill. Or broil. Or stick in the toaster oven. 🙂 It is then great chopped up and added to a noodle bowl or even to an omelet if you are an egg eater.

    But this is about salad! I included my favorite summer salad with fruit in your other post about the chopped salad. It’s romaine, blueberries, corn, cukes, cilantro & a lemony tahini dressing. As blueberries fade out one could use other fruit, even chopped apples. But the blueberries are brilliant.

    Out of curiousity do you have a long enough growing season for corn?

    • Holly, do you make or buy the lemon tahini dressing? I would like that. A small amount of corn is grown here but not enough for export. I imagine ours comes from Ontario 🙂 We have fantastic local blueberries, though.

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