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Sunday, October 4, 2015

Fall Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

I've received a few emails recently, asking about my dogs and why I haven't been posting much about them.

I guess I've been too focused on recipes!

Last week was Clyde's birthday, however, so I guess this is a good time for a Clyde-pic.

Here he is, November 2012, the day I brought him home.

And here he is last week on his birthday!  I snapped this photo right after he chased a squirrel under the fence.  That's the look he gives whenever the animal he's chasing disappears under the fence.

I don't know whether that look means "Did you SEE that?!" or "Aren't you going to HELP me?" --but I'm always relieved that he's so slow and dopey when he gives chase, because I don't ever want to deal with a look of victory on his face!

Temperatures have dipped recently; I'm not really in that fall-comfort-food mode yet, but I'm ready to embrace the fruits of the season!  When I was at the supermarket a couple of weeks ago and I saw fresh cranberries, I think I might have exclaimed, "YES!!" out loud.  With a little fist pump.

What did I do with them?  I made a vinaigrette.

Isn't it pretty?!

You can prepare it in less than 10 minutes.  Make it in advance because it needs time to chill.  Then throw together this very simple salad (greens, a sliced pear or two, glazed pecans, dried cranberries and crumbled feta)!

Today's Playlist
  • "Under Cover Of Darkness"...The Strokes
  • "Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground"...The White Stripes
  • "Dani California"...Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • "Why Don't You Get A Job?"...The Offspring
  • "The Girl Got Hot"...Weezer

Fall Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette (4 to 6 servings)

Dressing Ingredients:
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar (or white balsamic, or red wine vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Salad Ingredients:
  • 8 cups of your favorite greens (I used spinach and romaine)
  • 2 pears, sliced
  • 1 cup glazed pecans
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Gather your dressing ingredients.

Stir together the cranberries, orange juice and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.

Stir constantly until the cranberries start to pop.  You can actually hear them pop, and you will notice that the skins are split.

When all the skins have split, lower the heat and allow them to simmer for 2 or 3 minutes (to soften).

After they've softened, pour them into a blender and add the olive oil...


and vinegar.

I also add a couple of ice cubes.  The dressing usually needs to be thinned down a bit, so instead of adding water I add ice cubes to help speed the cooling-down process.

Blend for about 20 seconds.  Isn't it pretty?

Transfer the vinaigrette into a serving container and refrigerate until chilled.

 To assemble the salad:
Gather your salad ingredients.  Yes, I told you feta cheese crumbles, but I didn't realize that I didn't have any on hand until I was making the salad!  I forged ahead anyway.

You can use your favorite packaged glazed pecans, or your can make your own.  I made my own this time, using pumpkin pie spice for flavoring!  Click here to be taken to my recipe for glazed nuts.

To assemble the salad, simply layer the pears, nuts, cranberries and feta on top of the greens.

Next time, I'll remember the feta.

Drizzle the vinaigrette as you plate the salad.


1 comment:

  1. Beautiful, as well as delicious. Have to make this salad. Thanks. :)


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