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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cran-Orange Salad {with Orange Vinaigrette Dressing}

We had a family Christmas party this last weekend and I was in charge of a green salad. I love a good green salad, but when it's topped with goodies like sweet juicy oranges, flavorful cranberries, crisp fresh jicama, and candied almonds and doused with a light, sweet, zesty dressing I am practically hypnotized. My mother-in-law made this salad for us a few weeks ago when we came over for dinner, and I almost had no interest in the rest of the meal. If I was truly selfish I could have just taken the salad bowl and poured me some dressing and ate the whole bowl. Sooooo good! This is a great winter salad since oranges are so good at this time of year.

I like to make the salad as follows. Mix whatever greens I want in a bowl, and then top with the orange bits, cranberries, and jicama. I don't toss it simply because it seems that whenever I do all the goodies end up on the bottom and you can't get at them as easily. And there always seems to be enough goodies in the bottom by the time we eat that much. I then serve the candied almonds on the side so you can add however much you want, and I also serve the dressing on the side so the lettuce doesn't get soggy by mixing it all together in the bowl.

Note: I bought dried cranberries sweetened with sugar at the regular grocery store. When my mother-in-law made this salad she bought dried cranberries at the health food store, the were sweetened in fruit juice before they were dried. They were to. die. for. I forgot to stop by the health food store or that would have been what I used.

Cran-Orange Salad {with Orange Vinaigrette Dressing}
Printable Version

Mixed Greens
Dried Cranberries
Fresh Orange, peeled, sectioned, and sliced into bite-size bits
Jicama, diced
Crumbled Feta or Blue Cheese (optional)
Candided Almonds

Orange Vinaigrette Dressing:
½ teaspoon orange zest
⅓ cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
½ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon Good Seasons Italian Dressing mix

Shake above ingredients in pint jar and chill. Serve over above salad recipe.

Recipe Source: slightly adapted from Maureen G. (originally from Geri Brown)

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