Nana Recipe Wednesday–Romaine Salad with Honey-Sesame Dressing

by Sarah on July 24, 2013

Hello.  Happy Wednesday.  It might seem happier to those whose doctor has not told them to refrain from eating wheat products for four to six weeks.  For those of us who are not supposed to eat the aforementioned wheaty products, life is somewhat less happy.  Content-ish, if you will.  But I could maybe murder someone soon for a slice of decent bread or even just a noodle.


Nana and our Japanese exchange student Takako obviously haven’t a care in the world.  They were living it up in Japan, having a good old time.  I suppose I would be ok in Japan.  There’s all that rice to eat.  That, coincidentally, often comes from this part of the world (central California).  I really liked Takako from what I remember–though I was probably three or four.  I remember that she taught me how to count to ten in Japanese (though now I can only remember one to five–ichi, ni, san, shi, go), and I think that’s when I learned to use chopsticks too.  On a somewhat unrelated note, I am hoping to go to Japan next spring!  I should learn six to ten, and maybe a few more words.  I should also try to figure out Takako’s last name so I can find her and say hi.


I found this salad in Nana’s recipe box–it’s wheat free, and the added bonus is that I didn’t have to actually cook anything on a hot evening.  It’s dead simple and I like those weird canned mandarin oranges.  I mean, who doesn’t?  It’s a childhood thing.


I recommend making the dressing first, so then it can sit around for a while when you are busy making the salad part.  You know, the flavors get to know each other and party a little bit.

The salad part is just salad.  Feel free to fool with the ingredients but I think the canned mandarins are a must.  Actually I think the red onions are a must too. Oh, the other thing that is a must?  Toast those sesame seeds!  But don’t burn them.  Seriously, it takes like 2 minutes in a small flat saute pan.  Shake them and keep a constant eye on them.  Burned seeds are bitter seeds.


9 out of 10 salad eaters say this salad is delicious.  Do it.

Nana's Romaine Salad with Honey-Sesame Dressing


  • I head romaine lettuce
  • 1 can mandarin oranges, drained
  • thinly sliced rings of red onions
  • sliced mushrooms
  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 3 Tbsp wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 overflowing Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • salt to taste
  • dash sesame oil


  • Prepare dressing by mixing together all ingredients except oil. Slowly pour in oil while whisking to emulsify slightly. Set aside.
  • Prepare salad by tearing or cutting clean romaine into bite-sized pieces and adding the rest of the ingredients.
  • Toss salad with enough dressing to coat. A few toasted sesame seeds and a bit of freshly ground black pepper for the top.

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