Creative juices flowed freely while preparing dinner for a few friends. I knew a simple salad would be the perfect opportunity to use a lone can of mandarin oranges that has been setting on my pantry shelf. I honestly can’t remember when I bought the can and I needed to silence it’s desperate cries to be opened. No worries. I checked the expiration date before cracking the seal.
I had a small handful of ruby red strawberries from a recent trip to the farmers market that would complement the orange segments. It seemed like my simple salad was coming together well when I discovered a small container of pungent blue cheese in the back of my fridge. Then it all went downhill with the vinaigrette.
I started to whisk together what I thought would be a genius use of the leftover mandarin orange juice. A dash here, a pour there, and even a shake or two turned into the most awful combination of flavors I have ever tasted. After a few moments of frowning and scrunching of my nose, I started over with a new approach. Whisk, whisk, whisk went my hand as the bowl clanked in rhythm. A quick taste of a tender leaf dipped into the emulsified mixture found me frowning again.
After admitting my vinaigrette defeat, I turned to one of my favorites. Sure I’ve made my Maple Dijon Vinaigrette often enough to the point I have the recipe memorized. But, it’s so darn good and a true classic in my book.
- 1 (9 oz.) package spring mix greens, prewashed
- ½ - 1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
- 1 (6 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained
- 6 oz crumbled blue cheese
- Maple Dijon Vinaigrette
- Prepare vinaigrette as directed. Lightly toss greens, strawberries, oranges, blue cheese until evenly coated with the vinaigrette.