Mound of romaine salad with grape, orange, and apple garnishes

Gorgeous Greens

For holidays and special occasions, this salad can’t be beat. Zippy ginger, onion, and lemon juice are tempered by sweet grapes, dates, pears, oranges, and candied nuts. The dressing can be made ahead of time and frozen until needed, which makes easy work of preparation. This dressing is also delicious on fruit salad.

Prep Instructions

  • Yield: 4 (2 cup) servings
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Passive Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons crystalized ginger
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Medjool dates
  • 2 teaspoons lemon peel, grated
  • 1/4 cup sweet orange, peeled
  • One head crisp Romaine lettuce, broken into bite-size pieces
  • 1/3 cup green or red grapes, halved
  • 1-2 sweet winter pears, ripe but firm
  • 1 red onion, quartered and thinly sliced Roasted or candied pecans (see note below)


  1. Prepare dressing: Soak ginger and dates in hot water while you grate lemon peel, squeeze lemons, and remove orange peel so no white remains.
  2. When ginger is softened, pour into blender with dates and water, and add lemon juice, lemon and orange peel, and salt. Blend until mixture is a smooth cream. Depending on the quality of your blender, this may take a minute or two. Refrigerate in a covered container.
  3. Prepare lettuce and halve grapes. Peel and quarter pears, then core and cut into quarter-inch slices. Slice onions.
  4. Combine everything except pecans in a large mixing bowl, drizzle (do not drench; use only what’s needed) with dressing and toss until dressing is evenly distributed. Top with pecans and serve immediately. Or, combine salad ingredients in a bowl and serve dressing and nuts on the side.


To candy pecans, preheat oven to 300ºF. Toss together 1 cup pecans or walnut pieces with 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Spread nuts on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for approximately 15 minutes—be careful not to burn! These can be made ahead and stored in a sealed container until ready to use. If keeping longer than a couple of weeks, store in refrigerator.

Nutritional Data

Calories: 206.47
Fat: 8.08 g
Saturated Fat: 0.68 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 372.29 mg
Carbohydrates: 37.70 g
Fiber: 6.51 g
Sugars: 26.94 g
Protein: 2.76 g
© AdventHealth