A last minute side to save the day
The big feast is 3 days away and here’s a secret hack if you’re in a culinary bind.
This is the perfect side to whip up if your plans suddenly change and you need to make a quick side to take over to frens/family on the fly.
Or you can easily add this to round out your current menu with little-to-no effort.
This has been a cheat-code in my family and works not only for Thanksgiving but during any of the Fall & Winter months.
I’m talking about:
Cranberry Salad Dressing
You just need some fresh greens and fruit then you’re ready to go.
The texture of the fruit and the tart but slightly sweet dressing all come together on a bed of greens to make a crowd-favorite you’ll get repeat requests for.
The best part?
It’s easy and can be put together in ~10 mins
Just don’t let the simplicity fool you, this is a really tasty dressing and final salad.
Fruit Salad with Cranberry Dressing
This dressing requires frozen cranberry concentrate. This is mandatory. Don’t try and use cranberry juice as the water content is too high. You need the concnentrate.
I make a French-style vinaigrette (recipe below) then add the cranberry concentrate to. If you’re in a rush you can buy a bottle of red wine vinaigrette but ideally make the vinaigrette yourself (takes 60 seconds).
Most grocery stores have salad green mixes ready to go, making this another time-saving tip.
Vinaigrette (makes ~3/4 cup)
1/2 c neutral oil
4 TB red wine vinegar
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp dry yellow mustard
1/16th tsp (pinch) of cayenne
(Or substitute 3/4 cup of store-bought red wine vinaigrette)
1/3 c frozen cranberry juice cocktail concentrate
1/2 c dried cranberries
1.5 TB honey
2 each: ripe pears, granny smith apples; quartered, cored and sliced into wedges
2 c red seedless grapes, cut in half
20oz salad mix (try and find a blend that has sweet and also bitter greens; like bibb, kale, red leaf, etc.)
For the vinaigrette: place all ingredients in a pint sized jar, screw on lid and shake vigorously for 30-60 seconds until emulsified.
Add the cranberry juice, cranberries and honey. Place lid back on and shake again to combine.
In a mixing bowl toss the fruit with half of the dressing and set aside.
On a large platter or serving bowl, place the greens in and season with a pinch of salt.
Pour some of the dressing from the fruit bowl onto the greens and lightly mix then spread out to form a bed to place the fruit on.
Top the greens with the dressed fruits and serve the remaining dressing on the side.
I like to add a few cracks of really nice black peppercorns as well as toasted walnuts but that is optional.
*If transporting to an offsite location, dress the salad when you arrive to prevent greens from sogging out
And there you’ve got a quick, easy and festive holiday side that will thrill peoples taste buds 🙌
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