When you think of cold weather comfort foods, salads may not be the first thing that come to mind. But in between bowls of steamy soups and gumbos, it’s good to get some greens in there! In comes this Juicy Winter Salad, loaded with tart, sweet & satisfying winter fruits, crunchy walnuts and creamy feta cheese!
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Cara Cara oranges are one of my favorite winter fruits and a big part of the “juicy winter” component of this salad, perfectly paired with dried cranberries, chopped walnuts, thinly sliced red onions and creamy feta cheese. It all comes together when it gets tossed with a quick balsamic dressing.
When making salads, the first thing I like to do is wash the lettuce really well. There are so many nooks and crannies for dirt, debris and little critters to hide out between those leaves, so don’t skip out on this step, unless you know your lettuce has been thoroughly pre-washed!
A good salad spinner makes this an easy job. Tear or cut the lettuce into bite-sized pieces and wash, working in batches if you need to. Then, send it for a spin until it’s dry. You want to give it plenty of time to dry, so that you’re not watering down the dressing. We’re going for juicy here, not watery!
Next up is the balsamic dressing. I always like to mix the dressing ingredients in the bottom of a large mixing bowl. Whisk balsamic vinegar, finely minced garlic, dijon mustard and honey together. Drizzle in olive oil, whisking as it emulsifies. Once the dressing comes together, add a little salt & pepper to taste.
*If you don’t want to toss the salad in the dressing, you can shake up all of the dressing ingredients in a mason jar. This way, you can add as much or as little dressing to the salad as you like and store any extra in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Once the dressing is mixed, toss in the red onions first, so they start to break down. Then add the dried cranberries, walnuts, feta cheese and lettuce. But we’re not ready to toss just yet!
It’s time for the “juicy winter” part of this salad! Use a small paring knife to cut the peel off the oranges. Then, you can either cut them into thin slices or segment them by cutting out the fleshy pieces inside of the fibrous rind. Add the orange slices to the salad bowl and toss that salad until everything is coated with dressing.
This bowl-o-greens is enough for two dinner sized salads or four(ish) starter salads. The greens will get a little soggy as leftovers, so you’ll want to eat it all on the first go round! You can do it!
Thanks for Chewsing!