Thursday, December 4, 2008

Cranberry-Apple Salad Dressing

cranberry-apple dressing

A good salad is like a good marriage: all the ingredients need to compliment each other. The idea is that if your salad dressing is on the sweet side you want to pair it up with a bitter leaf. A thicker vinaigrette would enhance an endive salad but overpower delicate watercress leaves. You also want just the right mix of textures. If you go overboard the heavier components stay at the bottom of the bowl. The most important thing is to keep things playful. Even when I tend to favor a simple salad I'll make it special by using some roasted hazelnut oil and high quality sea salt. Sometimes, I add some seasonal fruit slices, goat cheese crumbles and roasted nuts. My salad dressings don't usually involve any cooking time but this one is different and so worth the extra effort.

The creation of this salad dressing was an experiment gone well-- so I thought I'd share. It's creamy, tart and sweet. I love it with crisp salad leaves such as romaine or crunchy endives. The color alone is reason enough to make this delicious dressing.

cranberry dressing up-close

Cranberry-Apple Salad Dressing

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup frozen cranberries
1/2 cup tart apple peeled and diced, such as Granny Smith or Pippin

2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
2 teaspoons dijon type mustard
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Saute the chopped onions in the 2 tablespoons of olive oil until translucent and beginning to brown. Add the cranberries and apples and continue cooking, stirring often, until softened (about 5 minutes). Transfer to blender and add the rest of the ingredients. Process until smooth. Add more liquid (orange juice or water) if you wish for a thinner dressing.

cranberry dressing salad

For more wonderful salad recipes go visit Stacey's After Thanksgiving Detox week. She's featuring many gorgeous salad recipes to make up for last week's feast.


VeggieGirl said...

INCREDIBLE experiment and outcome - yum!!

Jeanine said...

That looks AMAZING! Yum!

Mike of Mike's Table said...

I'm not a big salad person, so I'd probably be lost in putting together a nice salad. I love this dressing though--the color and the flavor look/sounds excellent!

Robin Sue said...

I love the color of this dressing! I really liked that it has maple syrup in it too, I bet that gives it a nice little sweetness to it all. Very pretty.

Yasmeen said...

Perfect dressing with seasonal flavors:)

syrie said...

What a beautfil colour. I'm sure it was absolutely delicious.

rachel said...

I can just taste it- oh man, YUM!

Juliet said...

Looks delicious! I'm always looking for some unique and healthy ways to spruce up my salads. This is one I will definitely try. :)

Sophie said...

I love using tasty dressings like these on other foods as marinades too! What a pretty color and tasty flavor combo. I hope you feel better soon!

Haley said...

Mmm... this salad dressing look wonderful, then again everything on your blog does! I love the combination of cranberry and apple, so I'm sure I'll be making this soon :)

I would love to write about your dressing on our blog! If you are interested send me an email at

Kevin said...

What a nice and colourful salad dressing.

Marysol said...

Alexa, I was sold on the colors, before even looking at the ingredients going into your delicious salad!

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