Pie Crust Cookie Search

Monday, March 3, 2014

Melanie's Spinach Salad

Recently I was asked to bring a salad to a potluck. I remembered this delicious old favorite that came to us from my Aunt Melanie and although I managed to overdress the salad, people seemed to like it quite well. If you haven't used jicama before, it's a tuber and looks like a big, misshapen potato. The white insides taste slightly sweet and clean and crisp, providing lovely texture to this salad.


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!)


  1. Betsy-I'm happy to have some detailed instructions on the nut caramelizing. I've done it twice lately, but the sugar didn't 'stick' very well. This will help!:)

  2. I did it! :) didn't have slivered almonds, but used chopped and sliced. Can't wait to do it with slivered. We love nuts on our salads. Thanks again.

  3. Yay! I'm so glad it worked. It's so easy I should do it more often.