Wednesday, December 29, 2010

sweet, salty and crunchy winter salad

The Perfect Winter Salad!

Salty stuff. Sweet stuff. Crunchy stuff. Chewy stuff. It doesn't get much better than that - and there's bacon!

This salad is as delicious as it is beautiful, with rich greens, jewel-toned fruit and contrasting sliced almonds. The delicately sweet dressing is incredibly simple and complements the other flavors to perfection.

You can prepare this with mixed greens (particularly pretty and tasty with radicchio tossed in) or use only spinach, or a combination of all. You can substitute pine nuts for the sliced almonds if you like, but I do really feel that the dried cranberries (not raisins) provide the best flavor in this salad. Be sure to try this with Mandarin orange segments also. *swoon*

This is a terrific side salad to serve with a simple meat-and-potatoes type dinner and it's a surprisingly tasty accompaniment to many curried dishes. And it will make a spectacular salad to ring in 2011, whether as part of a cozy dinner for two, or as a start to a healthy new year.

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (I like to use safflower oil because its mild flavor doesn't compete with the other ingredients)
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons wine vinegar (try using a raspberry blush balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar or a simple white wine vinegar)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Whisk ingredients together thoroughly and set aside.

For the salad, toss together:

  • 5 to 6 cups mixed salad greens, including spinach if you like
  • 6 slices cooked lean bacon, crumbled
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 green onions, white only, thinly sliced
Lightly toss salad ingredients with the dressing and serve immediately, or wait until ready to serve before adding the dressing.

Also, if you're preparing the salad in advance, add the almonds at the last moment so they will stay crunchy.
Serves 4.

8 comments:

3 Pearls said...

I love a big salad! Remember the Seinfeld big salad :) This one looks like a delicious combination. I'll be frequenting your blog, it makes me drool...

Lonesome Road Studio said...

Thank you 3 Pearls!
Yes, I do remember the Big Salad, it always made me want one...
stop by The Kitchen anytime!

Doris Sturm said...

that sounds so delicious! I'd like some right now! I love to crunch and chew and exercise my gums and this salad sounds like it would to the trick ;-)

Happy New Year, Angie, to you and yours!

M.M.E. said...

Oooh, I'd definitely try that, though probably without the bacon. Gotta love the almonds though.

SleightGirl said...

Oooh! That sounds so delicious! I love cranberries, and of course, everything is better with bacon!

RockMeGently said...

Sounds delicious, winning ingredients plus adding the mandarin oranges, yumm!
Thank you and Happy New Year!!

Stephanie said...

mmm bacon in salads is always a good thing

Lonesome Road Studio said...

I served this for Thanksgiving, it was the perfect accompaniment.
thanks for all the visits and comments!

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