Orange Macadamia Salad with Crispy 'Butterflies'

Sometimes I go overboard and post too many photos for a particular recipe. Please bear with me, this is one of those posts!

I can't help it. I love everything about this salad, it's a combination of a couple of other recipes. I wasn't quite satisfied with any of them, so I played around and bumped up the flavors with a few additions until I was happy with the results.

As I've mentioned in previous posts, I prefer either simple straight forward salads, or composed salads with more elements which add flavor and textural interest, then arranged in a not-too-fussy way on the plate.

You could add some grilled or poached sliced chicken if you like. The little crispy "butterflies" are optional, I happened to have a few wonton wrappers leftover so used them here. Quickly shaped and fried, they add a whimsical garnish and a crispy crunch.

You can just peel and slice the orange(s), but I like to cut the sections into supremes*, eliminating all pith & membrane from the sections.

I use bagged, organic baby field or spring mix for the greens in this salad. Baby spinach leave would work very well, too.

Be sure to toast the macadamia nuts to bring out the flavor. Toasted almonds (sliced or slivered), hazelnuts, or pecans would also be very good.

Besides the wonton wrapper "Butterflies", as a final garnish I slivered some candied ginger and sprinkled it over the orange segments.

Here are the ingredients for the vinaigrette (and basic proportions.) I rarely measure when I'm cooking, only when I'm baking, so taste as you go along. You may like it sweeter or more tart than I do. :)

Orange Vinaigrette

Orange zest
Orange juice
Unseasoned Rice Vinegar
Pure Maple Syrup
A little granulated sugar or Splenda (if you want more sweetness)
A splash of oil (canola or very mild olive oil)
Salt and Pepper (optional)

Before cutting the orange, use a microplane to collect some of the zest and set aside.
After cutting th orange into supremes, squeeze the remaining membrane into a medium bowl, collecting the juice. (You can add a little more fresh orange juice if you like.)

For a salad for two I used one large, sweet orange.

The juice from the membrane of the orange, (after cutting into supremes)
1 to 2 tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar (unseasoned)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
I added a teaspoon of Splenda
a pinch of kosher salt
Canola oil ~ about 2 1/2 teaspoons

Whisk all together in a bowl, taste. Adjust ingredients to your preference, drizzle over the composed salads just before serving.

I don't eat a lot of fried foods, and rarely when I dine out.
I'd rather prepare it at home where I can control the quality and freshness of the oil. Although I have a couple of large electric fryers I leave them on the shelf and reach for the much smaller "Fry Daddy". It heats the oil in a matter of minutes and requires only a couple of cups of oil rather than quarts, as larger fryers or pots do. It's ideal for adding a little interesting garnish to a dish, like these wonton butterflies. Depending upon what is cooked in the oil I usually can use it several times before discarding as long as it is kept refrigerated between uses. (I use a separate batch of oil for seafood.)

To make the "butterflies" simply streak a line of water down the center of each wonton wrapper with your fingertip then gather/pinch the center into accordian folds. Pinch the middle to make the shape hold it's shape then fry in hot oil until golden brown on each side. Drain well.

It's one of my favorite salads, especially in the middle of winter!

A little sunshine on your plate. :)

If you try it, I hope you like it, too.


  1. O.K. I have a question. Do you own all the beautiful dish ware you show your fabulous food on. I just LOVE the chintz dinner ware on your last post. I was also the one who was ga ga over the white pumpkins on your Thanksgiving table. TTFN

  2. Oh Mari, I simply must make those wonton skin butterflies. Not that I've ever SEEN wonton skin or even purchased it but guess what I'm going to search for in my market next time? LOL


  3. Mari - you make everything look so effortless and simple..then presenting the salad in a way that is just gorgeous and yummy!

  4. Gorgeous salad! I love the butterflies!

  5. I'm glad I came over to see the other photos and recipe - it sounds absolutely wonderful to me, Mari! Thank you.

  6. Oh can I please come to your house for dinner....I need to eat that salad...right now...
    It made me feel better just looking at it....
    uhhh....I even do dishes...even windows....for that salad I will do windows...

  7. Just so you know, you can NEVER post too many pictures for me. NEVER! I love your blog, and can't wait to try this beautiful salad.

  8. What a beautiful salad. I am beyond impressed with your butterflies!

  9. Mary, that salad looks beautiful, and you are so thorough in teaching us how to do things...thank you!

  10. I'm not surprised you posted so many pictures! They are all fabulous! And you changed your header! I loved the old one, but the new one is just as nice. Nice work and thanks for sharing your great ideas with us.

  11. Beautiful salad presentation looks yummy too!....Christine

  12. like a walk on a spring day, fresh and gorgeous! and thanks about the shaping of the butterfly, i asked at wfd, just needed to come to the mother ship here!

    you can never post to many pics, you know how i feel about bright vibrant living!

  13. I have to ask, are you a professional food stylist? If not you should be. Your photos are always beautiful and completely professional. Thanks again for another great post.


Thank you for your comments, friends ~ they make my day!

A Sampling of my food . . .


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