October 7, 2012

Apple, Cranberry and Walnut Salad with a Cranberry Vinaigrette

I had a salad like this at a restaurant recently.  It was so good I wanted to make one at home.  Theirs had an apple cider vinaigrette, but I had a lot of cranberries in the freezer so I went with this one.  It's perfect for fall.  The combination of fruit and walnuts go so well together and would you believe my children love it too?  I had to smile to myself as I prepared lunch the other day-it's usually peanut butter and jelly.   Even my 4-year-old loves this!

lettuce of choice (I use Romaine, green and Bibb)
red onion
Bleu cheese
sliced tart apples
dried cranberries

Line salad plates with lettuce.  Top with red onion, cheese, walnuts, cranberries and apples.  Drizzle with vinaigrette.

Cranberry Vinaigrette

1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 clove garlic
1-1/2 cups canola oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
dash ground black pepper

In a blender or food processor, combine the thawed fresh or frozen cranberries, cider vinegar and garlic.  Cover and blend or process the mixture for 1 to 2 minutes, or until it's nearly smooth.  Add the oil, sugar, salt, dry mustard and pepper to cranberry mixture.  Cover and blend or process about 1 minute more.  Serve immediately or transfer to a dressing container.  Cover and store in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.  Stir well before serving.  Makes about 2-3/4 cups (twenty-two 2-tablespoon servings).

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