Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Arugula Spinach Salad with Feta, Cranberries & Pecans

The holiday season is here and I'm sure you've been planning some special meals.

I try to make several new dishes each year at Thanksgiving and Christmas to go along with our family favorites to add something new and special to the mix.

This year this salad will be one of the stars.  It's a perfect winter salad that will accompany any choice of meat you are having.  Whether it be turkey, ham or beef, this will be perfect as a starter.  It's also a great choice for vegetarian meals as well, and you can certainly leave out the dairy if you choose.

I love this salad for it's flavor combination of sweet and salty. You have the slightly peppery arugula and the ever steady spinach.  The sweet plump cranberries (reconstituting dried cranberries is easy!) and the salty bite from the feta.  Add more crunch with toasted pecans, and some coolness from some Persian cucumbers and you have one awesome salad!

Now the real treat is in the dressing.  The pomegranate vinegar lends another tart fruity flavor to the salad which goes just perfectly with these simple ingredients.  

Trust me, everyone who has ever eaten this salad has asked for the recipe.  So now I'm sharing it with you!  Hope you serve this at your holiday dinner this year.


Arugula Spinach Salad with Feta, Cranberries & Pecans

serves 8-10

3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups boiling water
3 Tablespoons orange juice
1 1/2 Tablespoons pomegranate vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
6 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
salt & pepper
5 oz baby arugula (1/2 package)
5 oz fresh spinach (1/2 package)
3 Persian cucumbers, peeled and sliced
1 cup pecan halves, toasted
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled

Place the boiling water in a liquid measuring glass, and add the cranberries.  Let them soak for 10 minutes, then drain.

In a small bowl or jar add the orange juice, vinegar, and mustard.  Add the oil and whisk or shake until blended.  Add the parsley to the vinaigrette and stir or shake once more. 
Season with salt & pepper to taste.  

Place the arugula and spinach in a large bowl.  Add the cranberries, cucumbers, pecans, and feta cheese.  Toss with vinaigrette, or serve on the side.  

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