Culinary SOS: Nage’s clementine salad

clementine salad
The recipe for this clementine salad comes from Nage restaurant in Washington, D.C.
(Ricardo DeAratanha, Los Angeles Times)
Los Angeles Times

Dear SOS: I had a delicious meal at Nage restaurant on a recent trip toWashington, D.C., and I would love to have the recipe for its clementine salad.

Kathleen Sheldon

Santa Monica

Dear Kathleen: It’s a perfect way to highlight these sweet little mandarin oranges. Nage combines the orange segments with fresh shaved fennel, mixed baby greens, crystallized ginger and toasted salted cashews, tossing the salad with a wonderfully sweet and fragrant five-spice dressing. Enjoy!


Nage’s clementine salad

Total time: 30 minutes

Servings: 4

Note: Adapted from Nage Restaurant in Washington, D.C. Sichuan peppercorns, star anise and candied ginger are available at cooking and select gourmet stores, as well as online. For this salad, the restaurant calls for one head each of red petite oak, green petite gem and red petite tango lettuces; we substituted a romaine mix.


Five-spice dressing

1 cinnamon stick

8 fennel seeds

2 cloves

4 szechuan Sichuan peppercorns

1 star anise

1/2 teaspoon clementine zest

1/4 cup red wine vinegar


1 ½ tablespoons sugar

1 shallot, minced

1/4 teaspoon minced thyme

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the cinnamon, fennel seeds, cloves, peppercorns and star anise on a sheet pan and toast until aromatic, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

2. In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the spices with the clementine zest, red wine vinegar and sugar. Bring to a boil over low heat, then remove from heat. Strain the vinegar into a medium mixing bowl, discarding the spices.


3. Whisk in the shallot, thyme and salt. Slowly whisk in the vegetable and olive oils to emulsify and form the dressing. This makes about two-thirds cup dressing, more than is needed for the remainder of the recipe. The dressing will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 4 days.


5 cups mixed greens, such as a romaine mix

1 fennel bulb, shaved using a mandoline or by hand (no thicker than 1/8-inch)

1 ½ tablespoons crystallized ginger, julienned

1/4 cup toasted and salted cashews

4 clementines, peeled and supremed, or segmented

1/4 cup five-spice dressing, or to taste

In a large bowl, combine the mixed greens, shaved fennel, crystallized ginger, cashews, clementine segments and dressing, gently tossing to mix. This makes about 8 cups salad. Serve immediately.

Each serving: 218 calories; 3 grams protein; 22 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams fiber; 14 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 11 grams sugar; 146 mg sodium.

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