If you’re still thinking about ideas for your holiday dinner, I have a unique and delicious salad to share! This past weekend, my husband and I enjoyed dinner with a group of good friends (our gourmet dinner group) and we were assigned this salad by our hosts. Never would I have guessed how wonderful it would taste when I first read through the recipe.
The orange juice infused dried cranberries, toasted Marcona almonds, semi-hard goat cheese and honey-roasted carrots on tangy arugula tossed with a sherry vinaigrette was amazing! So much so, that my husband requested that we have this salad again the following night!
I was able to find a package of three different Spanish cheeses at Costco which included Manchego, Tipsy Goat and Iberico cheese. The Tipsy Goat was perfect. The next evening, I used the Manchego which is a sheep’s/goat milk combination and it was also very good.
If you are familiar with Ina Garten’s book Cooking for Jeffrey, you may already know this salad as her Maple Roasted Carrot Salad. I made only a slight change to the vinaigrette and in the preparation.
The Christmas shopping is done, the tree is decorated, the presents are wrapped and Christmas cards addressed and sent. So far, I’ve made Gingerbread from my recipe found here and hope to make more cookies this week that I’ll share if time permits!
Wishing all of you a stress-free week before Christmas!
Cranberry, Almond and Roasted Carrot Salad
2 pounds thin organic carrots with fresh green tops
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup Grade A maple
squeezed orange juice (1-2 oranges)
cheese, such as tipsy Goat, Manchego (or feta)
Marcona almonds (Marcona almonds can be found at Costco)
While the oven is preheating, combine the cranberries and orange juice in a small saucepan and bring to a soft boil, then set aside to cool. Cranberries and juice can be placed in a bowl, covered with plastic wrap, and refrigerated until dinner.
Cheese can be diced and placed in a covered bowl in the refrigerator until ready to toss the salad.
In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, garlic, salt and honey. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
Trim and scrub the carrots (peel if they are bagged carrots). Cut the carrots in large diagonal slices as they shrink while roasting. Try to make all the slices as even as possible. Transfer to a large bowl with ¼ cup of olive oil, 1
teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Toss well and transfer to 2 baking
sheet pans allowing plenty of room for roasting. Roast for 15-20 minutes, tossing once, until the carrots are tender.
Transfer all the carrots to
one of the sheet pans, add the maple syrup. Toss and then roast for about 10
minutes or so, until caramelized turning once. Please watch carefully as the maple syrup can burn if left in the oven too long. Set aside for about 5-10 minutes to cool slightly. At this point you may allow them to cool completely and cover with a sheet of aluminum foil until you are close to serving the salad. Then, add the maple syrup and roast in a pre-heated 425 degree oven until caramelized.
Place the arugula in a large bowl and add the carrots, cranberries (along with the orange juice), goat cheese, almonds, and the vinaigrette. Toss with large spoons,
sprinkle lightly with salt, and serve.