janet @ the taste space

Holiday Salad with Cranberry-Orange Vinaigrette

In Favourites, Salads on December 19, 2013 at 7:14 AM

Holiday Salad with Cranberry-Orange Vinaigrette

Yesterday, we had a potluck at work. Non-denominational for the holidays, there was an Italian theme. In addition, the organizer reminded us of some food restrictions in our department: nut allergies, no eggs, gluten-free and vegetarian.

My original plan was to bring the vegan cheese log, but figured the vegans would appreciate it more. Indeed, they loved it possibly more than me! Instead of bringing vegetables for the non-vegans, I shared a treat that did not even seem vegan: the very best chocolate truffles! Also, because it met all of the listed dietary restrictions! It is nut-free, egg-free, dairy-free as well as free of artificial sweeteners and flours. It is also (almost) raw. Not quite raw because I use non-raw cocoa powder. I think a few people were scratching their head wondering exactly what was in my truffles since I had such a long list of what was not in them. All yummy, though!
(Of note, I discovered the truffles are super soft after being at room temperature for 3 hours… and I think the best remedy for this would be coat them in a magic shell!!)

Holiday Salad with Cranberry-Orange Vinaigrette

I am a bit behind on my potlucks, though. At our last work potluck, celebrating Thanksgiving, I did represent the veggies with this salad. We have made this holiday-inspired ruby red dressing a few times after Emma suggested it. It adds a gorgeous colour to your salad and the delicious sweet-tart cranberries in the dressing is balanced by orange juice and maple syrup.

Holiday Salad with Cranberry-Orange Vinaigrette

Pictures here with lettuce, dried cranberries, pecans and pumpkin seeds, I find it pairs amazing with brown rice or curried chickpeas to make a complete meal. Apples and cucumbers make a nice contrast, too.

I asked Rob to take photos and he told me he wanted to highlight the pretty red dressing by drizzling it in fun patterns overtop the salad. It was a bit challenging with a spoon. He may have picked up on my hint that squeeze bottles would make a nice gift (and under $5!). In actuality, he told me we already had squeeze bottles: I just need to finish the agave nectar. Not too hard after I made 3 batches of the best truffles ever within the past week. 😉

Would you have gone with the salad or chocolate?? (Or both?)

Holiday Salad with Cranberry-Orange Vinaigrette

This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays and to this month’s Feel Good Food challenge for cranberries.

Holiday Salad with Cranberry-Orange Vinaigrette
Dressing adapted from Oh She Glows

1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup, or to taste
1.5 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup fresh orange juice (or try clementines)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper

1. In a medium pot over medium heat, add the cranberries, maple syrup and vinegar. Heat until the cranberries burst, around 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

2. Place mustard, orange juice, oil and the slightly cooled cranberry mixture to a blender. Blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Taste and adjust flavours. Store dressing in the fridge for up to a week.

3. Serve with your favourite salad fixings. Pictured above is lettuce, dried cranberries, pecans and pumpkin seeds. It is also really good with baby spinach, cooked brown rice, curried chickpeas, chopped tart apple, cucumber, etc.

Makes 1.5 cups of dressing.

  1. This meat-earter would be perfectly happy with e vegan cheese log and this salad. And truffles. I bookmarked those to try. If you could figure out how to incorporate them into a salad as croutons…. I just con’t imagine that being a good pairing. Yet.

  2. I’m always down for a good salad! Fills me up before I hit the desserts!

  3. YUM! I made a similar dressing with without the savory items in this recipe. That is a fantastic idea .. Angela is all kinds of genius. I think I’ll try this one as well!

  4. I would definitely go for salad and truffles! Beautifully presented salad and dressing 🙂

  5. Fab! So glad you loved it. I really like the idea to serve it with grains/beans for a full meal too.
    Lovely presentation Rob 😀

  6. I wish I worked at your workplace 😉 This is beautiful and I love the sound of the dressing in particular – and how lovely it looks drizzled on the plate.

  7. That dressing really is gorgeous. Such an eye-catching color. I’m sure it tastes as good as it looks!

  8. Gorgeous colour on that dressing! I love a little tartness in my dressing, but I like how that’s balanced out by the maple syrup and orange juice too. I haven’t had a potluck to bring things too in a while, but I always struggle between making a salad that I know I’ll enjoy, or a dessert. That’s good that your coworkers appreciate your healthier offerings!

  9. Such a colorful and flavorful dressing and such a pretty salad–it is perfect for a holiday table or buffet. 😉 Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays this week.

  10. What a wonderful and bright salad. Just the thing to counter all the very rich Christmas food we have in the UK. Thanks for linking up again with this month’s Feel Good Food.

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