Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Cranberry Salad Dressing (& Sweet Spicy Pecans)

It's always fun when you make something that looks as good as it tastes - and it tastes great. This bright pink dressing put a big smile on my face. 

This is a dressing that will go well on simple green salads for holiday dinners. Alas, I didn't think to pick up any apples and I haven't seen a single pear this year, but when I make this dressing with more of a plan in mind, I will be sure to add one or the other to my greens along with some dried cranberries and the spiced pecans.

4 servings
15 minutes prep time

Make the Dressing:

1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1/4 cup almond or hazelnut oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons sweet sherry
2 tablespoons maple syrup

Put all the above ingredients in a blender, and blend very smoothly - you may need to scrape down the sides and it may take several minutes. 

And since that didn't take much time to speak of, why not make some sweet spiced pecans to add to your salad too:

Make the Sweet Spiced Pecans:

1 green cardamom pod
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon allspice berries

2 to 3 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups pecan halves

Crush the cardamom pod to allow you to remove and dicard the papery green hull. Grind the pepper, allspice and cardamom together, and mix in the sugar. 

Put on the broiler, and put the butter in a broil-proof pan, that is just large enough to spread out the pecans in a single layer. Melt the butter in it, then add the pecans and mix well. Sprinkle the spiced sugar over them and mix well.

Return the pan to the broiler and broil for a minute at a time, then taking them out and stirring them. When the pecans are well toasted - not likely more than 3 or 4 minutes - let them cool, before using them to garnish your salad.

Last year at this time I made Ginger-Lime Mashed Sweet Potatoes.

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