The combination of sweet and savory sends this salad over the top! Candied pecans, dried cranberries and golden raisins make it extra special! This Festive Holiday Salad is sure to be a crowd pleaser!
The holidays are upon us. If anyone is in denial, you can’t be for much longer! Thanksgiving is right around the corner and yes, Christmas is in one month! There is no need to panic, we have you covered with our holiday recipes.
This salad has the feel of something served at a gourmet restaurant and I promise you it can be put together in under an hour. Everyone will be “oooohhhing and ahhhhhing” when this beautiful dish is nestled onto the dinner table. No matter the size of your holiday meal, this salad is an excellent addition for any event.
This is my aunt’s creation which she adapted from another recipe. She made it for one of our family get-together’s several years ago and immediately, my husband and I both fell in love with it. We request it anytime we know we are going to see her and of course, I got the recipe so we didn’t have to wait for the next holiday to have this treat!
It has a great mix of sweet and savory flavors. The candied pecans are – well, like candy! The cranberries are chewy and tart. The golden raisins are plump and flavorful. The cheese is sharp and aromatic and the dressing…well the dressing just ties it all together. In my opinion, there is nothing greater than a homemade dressing to put the finishing touch on an already fantastic salad. It is like the fancy ribbon on top of a nicely wrapped present.
This salad is great for many occasions but I especially love it for Christmas because of the fun red, green, and white colors. Not to mention, it is a welcomed healthier choice and lower in calories than many other yummy holiday treats. This is going to become a favorite in your family, just like it is in ours.
- 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts
- 3 Tbsp. butter or margarine
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 (10oz) box torn mixed salad greens or your favorite
- ¾ cup dried cranberries
- ¾ cup golden raisins
- Cheese - Parmesan, feta, blue cheese or your favorite
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar or cider vinegar
- ¼ cup veg. oil (I used olive oil)
- ½ cup loosely pack fresh parsley sprigs
- ¼ cup chopped red onion
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- In a skillet, cook and stir nuts in butter until toasted, about 5 min.
- Remove from the heat; stir in the sugar, pepper and salt.
- In a salad bowl, toss the greens, cranberries, raisins, cheese and nuts.
- Place the dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor; cover and process until smooth. Drizzle desired amount over salad; toss to coat or serve dressing on the side
- Serve immediately.
- Refrigerate leftover dressing.