Sweet and Spicy Winter Salad with Caramelized Macadamia Nuts


I’m sorry that all of my previous posts were essentially winter ski food recipes. I guess I need rib sticking food to help me beat the New England cold. Even though I grew up in Maine for 17 years, I’m still a cold weather wimp. Just ask anyone in my family. When I’m home for winter break, I walk around our house with a blanket draped around me like a tunic, constantly sprawl out in front of our wood stove, and practically wear my black nano puff coat 6 days a week (this coat-wearing actually doesn’t change in the summer). I’ve worn this jacket so much that I bought black duct tape to patch up small tears. I don’t mind the cold weather because it means that I get to take part in all of my favorite winter sports. But as ski season winds down, I’m ready for spring. This recipe is a great winter to spring transitional meal. My boyfriend said it’s exactly what a rabbit would want to eat after a long winter.

If any of you have had a chance to read through Yotam Orrolenghi’s vegetarian cookbook Plenty, you’ll know that he uses an abundance of ingredients to make what may be some of the most unique dishes I’ve ever seen. The recipes often demand a little more of your time, but they’re definitely worth it. I heavily adapted his recipe for Sweet Winter Slaw to incorporate ingredients that I knew wouldn’t go to waste if I had leftovers. I replaced the two types of cabbage (I normally don’t know what to do with the extra cabbage that I often have after using part of it for a recipe) with brussel sprouts and kale, replaced the sliced papaya with mandarin oranges and pomegranate seeds as well as modified the dressing and caramelized nut recipes. A food processor will be your best friend for shredding the greens, and I recommend adding the nuts right before serving (they get somewhat soggy if they sit with the rest of the ingredients for some time).

Honey Butter Macadamia Nuts-2

The Bite: Acidic foods and drinks (tomatoes, limes, mandarin oranges, wine and coffee) decrease the pH (increase the acidity) in your mouth when consumed. Acid demineralizes the outer layer of the tooth, called enamel, and wears down its surface. Enamel is the hardest surface in the body and protects the nerves and blood vessels that supply your teeth. If too much of this outer layer erodes, the inner layers of the teeth can be exposed. This can cause your teeth to have heightened sensitivity to temperature fluctuations and can cause discomfort. The longer the acid sits in your mouth, the more prone you are to enamel degradation. One easy way to prevent this demineralization is to brush your teeth with toothpaste containing fluoride and to drink a neutral or alkaline beverage with your meals, such as water.

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Sweet and Spicy Winter Salad with Caramelized Macadamia Nuts

Yield: 4 large salads


1/3 cup lime juice, about 2 limes
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup halved and unsalted macadamia nuts
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups shredded kale
3 cups shredded brussel sprouts
1/4 cup mint, shredded
1 cup cilantro, shredded (leaves and small stems only)
1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 large mango, peeled and chopped into bite sized chunks
4 mandarin oranges, peeled and torn into individual segments
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds


Combine the lime juice, maple syrup, soy sauce and red pepper flakes in a small sauce pan. Cook over medium heat until the the dressing slightly thickens,whisking on occasion, for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; add sesame oil and olive oil, and let cool while you’re preparing the rest of the salad.

Melt butter in a small fry pan. Add the macadamia nuts. Cook for 1 minute before adding the butter, honey, and salt and frequently stir so as to not burn the nuts. Let the nut mixture simmer for another 2-5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and nicely coats the nuts. Remove from heat and set aside.

Mix all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl (I ended up shredding the kale, brussel sprouts, mint, and cilantro in a food processor). Add the nuts and dressing. Toss to combine.

Source: Heavily adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Sweet Winter Slaw featured in his cookbook Plenty.


3 thoughts on “Sweet and Spicy Winter Salad with Caramelized Macadamia Nuts

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