When it comes to diet I am a firm believer of “everything in moderation” (3 glasses of wine, french fries, and an ice-cream sundae is totally moderation, right?!). Despite my well-balanced diet (I swear I have one), it would appear otherwise if you looked through the recipes I feature here on RC. Since the holidays are especially notorious for being difficult on your waistline, I thought it was the perfect time to share one of my healthier recipes, an easy Christmas salad. Also, I may have consumed an entire recipe of english toffee (it was “burnt” so I couldn’t let it go to waste!) so my life kind of needed some healthiness in it. Annnnnd, I’m going to be shoving more ridiculously rich and buttery holiday recipes down your throat very soon so basically this salad is my way of helping you balance everything out in advance.
Also, it should be noted, this salad, while called a Christmas salad, is not just for Christmas (we eat similar versions of it year round). I simply call it a Christmas salad because of its festive red and green colors and because of how well it goes with a Christmas dinner menu.
Christmas Salad with Cranberry Dijon Vinaigrette
For the salad:
1 large head of romaine lettuce, chopped
1/3 cup pecans, toasted and chopped (for a unhealthier version use candied pecans)
1/3 cup of dried cranberries
1 apple, sliced (I like to use a Granny Smith, but use whatever variety you prefer)
For the dressing:
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
1/3 cup of olive oil
1/3 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons of sugar
3 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
1/2 a teaspoon of salt
To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in the cuisinart. Puree until the cranberries are finely chopped up and everything is combined. This is a thick dressing that is a touch on the sour/spicy side. To make a thinner dressing- add more orange juice. To make a sweeter dressing- eliminate the vinegar and use only 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard.
To assemble the salad, add the lettuce to a salad/serving bowl. Layer on the apple slices then sprinkle with the cranberries and pecans. Drizzle with the dressing. Give the salad a quick toss right before serving.
- This salad can be prepared up to 4 hours in advance. Simply assemble the salad ingredients (minus the dressing) then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator. When you are ready to serve the salad, toss on the dressing.
- Though it becomes less healthy, this salad also tastes delicious with some cheese sprinkled on it (my favorites are goat, feta or bleu).
- You can use pear in place of the apple and walnuts in place of the pecans.