Dress up your table with a cranberry vinaigrette-based dressing. Fresh cranberries turn ordinary food into something special. As a salad dressing, they transform plain greens into a celebration.
Their lively crimson red color has dazzling eye appeal. Shades of rosey pink flecked with bright cranberry red confetti stand out against the leafy green lettuce base. The contrasting shapes and textures of greens, carrots, apples and walnuts have a festive quality perfect for the season.
Most recipes feature cooked cranberries. In this dressing inspired by a 1990’s recipe from Bon Appétit, the berries are served raw in a thick as porridge puree.
Cranberry salad dressing bursting with fresh cranberries and a touch of apple cider vinegar has a distinctive tang. The cranberry vinaigrette adds a fruity essence to the salad.
The strong tastes have an autumn woodsy heartiness. A few clumps of top shelf quality Brie or Camembert cheese smooth out sharp notes with salty creaminess.
Cranberries have a symbolic place at the American table. In a leafy salad, the sharp savory sweet flavors of cranberries become bold and beautiful. Fall apple salad with cranberry dressing makes a joyful, yet healthy starter for any meal this time of year, including Thanksgiving.
Salad with Apples, Carrots, Nuts and Cranberry Dressing
Ingredients:1 cup fresh cranberries ½ cup canola oil ¼ cup apple cider vinegar ½ cup granulated sugar 2 tablespoons red onion, chopped 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard Pinch of salt 6 cups mixed fresh leafy greens ¾ cup carrots, finely shredded 1 cup of apples, peeled and thinly sliced ½ cup walnuts, toasted 1/2 cup Brie or Camembert cheese, cubed
Place cranberries in a colander, wash and sort through to remove any withered berries. Set aside to drain.
In a large glass measuring cup, combine canola oil, apple cider vinegar, granulated sugar, red onion, Dijon mustard, salt and cranberries. Puree with a hand-held blender until smooth. If you do not have a stick blender a regular blender will work too. Just be sure to place the lid on tightly on the blender before turning the machine on. Set aside smooth blended dressing.
Divide mixed greens on four salad plates. Drizzle a few tablespoons of dressing over the lettuce. Top with carrots, apples, walnuts and cheese. Serve immediately so the apples stay fresh.
Some cranberry dressing will be leftover. It will keep a few days in the refrigerator.