Melanie's Spinach Salad
Source: my Aunt Melanie, of Melanie's Biscochitos fame
Jicama, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1/2 c-3/4 c slivered almonds (I used sliced in the picture, and you can chop whole almonds, too, but I think the sugar sticks better to slivered almonds)
3 T sugar
Toast the almonds in a skillet over medium heat for 5 or so minutes. Then remove the almonds and heat the sugar without stirring until it begins to melt. Once most of the sugar is liquid, but before it turns brown and burns, add the almonds to the skillet and stir well. Pour the nuts onto a sheet of wax paper to cool and harden. Break up any large clumps of nuts.
To assemble, start with spinach and add jicama and oranges to your taste. Dress the salad--to your taste, the dressing recipe makes a lot--and top with caramelized almonds.
1/2 T orange zest
1/4 c orange juice
1/2 c vegetable oil
2 T sugar
2 T white vinegar
1 T lemon juice
1/4 c salt
Mix well together. (This dressing is amazing with freshly squeezed orange juice!)