Mandarin, Feta, Pomegranate and Candied Pecan Salad

This recipe is based on Holiday Salad from MelsKitchenCafe.com. It is such a colorful, beautiful salad that doing it on a platter (the way my dear friend Donna does it) is worth it. I made this for Thanksgiving and it was so good! In the mad rush of getting ready for Thanksgiving, I totally forgot to photograph it, but will so do soon.

6 ounces (3-4 cups) mixed salad greens
6 ounces (3-4 cups) chopped romaine
2 11oz cans mandarin oranges, drained and oranges patted dry
½ cup crumbled Feta cheese
1 cup pomegranate arils or ½ cup Craisins
½ cup candied maple pecans or walnuts (see note)

Dressing:
¼ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
¼ tsp salt

INSTRUCTIONS

Dressing: Add ingredients for dressing in a jar with a lid and shake very well until the dressing is nice and creamy.

Toss salad greens in a large bowl. Add most of the mandarin oranges and toss with ½ the dressing.

Lay greens on a large platter, and place the rest of the mandarins, feta cheese, pomegranate arils and pecans on top.

Serve extra dressing in a small pitcher.

To make candied maple pecans: in a small nonstick skillet, add about 1 Tbsp of maple syrup, 1 Tbsp water, a pinch of cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Heat in skillet until it’s nice and bubbly. Toss in pecan halves and swirl until they’re lightly coated. Pour out onto a silpat mat or parchment paper. Let cool and break up. The pecans should be lightly sweetened, not gobbed up with sugar.

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