Strawberry Romaine Salad ~ Romaine Lettuce, Strawberries, Green Onions and Walnuts! Topped with a to die for Italian Dressing with a Secret Ingredient!
This may look like your regular run-of-the mill salad. Here’s where the saying “looks can be deceiving” comes in. This is anything but run-of-the-mill. If you want to impress someone, THIS is the salad you make. In fact, this could be re-named “Impress Your Mother-in-law Salad.”
The salad itself is quite simple. Just romaine lettuce, strawberries, green onions and some candied walnuts. But the dressing. Oh my–the dressing. It’s divine.
I think the secret is the orange juice. Or the dry Italian dressing. Heck. Let’s be honest. It’s probably the sugar.
But back to the salad. Although I have listed very few ingredients here, you can of course add more. Grapes, kiwis, red onions, avocados. Let your imagination run wild! And if you’ve never made candied nuts before, it’s super easy!
There are actually two ways (that I know of) to do this. If you want nuts that are more caramelized, then you can follow my Five-Minute Caramelized Walnuts tutorial.
If you want nuts that are more crunchy with a coarser sugar coating, here’s what you do:
- Put a small frying pan on the stove over medium heat.
- Add a tablespoon of granulated sugar. (Really, the amount of sugar is up to you. I never measure. I just throw some in).
- Then add your nuts (chopped or un-chopped) and stir constantly until the sugar melts into a liquid and coats the nuts. Start with a half a cup of nuts for this recipe. But if you’d like to add more, go ahead and do it.
- Once the sugar has melted and the nuts have been coated, remove the pan from the heat and let the nuts cool before adding them to any recipe.
Or, you know. Don’t use nuts at all, I won’t judge.
The use of nuts is optional, but the use of the dressing is not. It’s what MAKES this salad. All you need is a packet of dry Italian dressing, some orange juice, rice vinegar, vegetable oil, and sugar. Now you can just put this all in a bottle, shake and pour. But I suggest treating this dressing with a little more finesse.
First, add the sugar, vinegar, and orange juice to a jar. Close the lid and shake vigorously. Let sit for a few minutes and then do it again. What we want to do is dissolve the sugar. Once you’ve done that, you can add the rest of the ingredients and shake everything together. Right before serving, shake again and then pour over the salad.
Once you make this salad, it will become your go-to salad for every occasion. People will ask you for the recipe, guaranteed.
Strawberry Romaine Salad
- 2 heads Romaine lettuce cut or torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1 pint strawberries sliced
- 2 green onions sliced
- 1 cup purple seedless grapes sliced (optional)
- 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans optional
- 1 Tbsp. dry Italian dressing
- 3 Tbsp. orange juice
- 3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup sugar
- In a large bowl, mix the lettuce, grapes, strawberries, green onions and optional nuts.
- In a pint-sized jar, add the orange juice, rice vinegar, and sugar. Shake and let sit so the sugar can dissolve.
- After a few minutes, add the dry Italian dressing and vegetable oil, and shake again.
- Pour over individual servings of salad.