I absolutely love salads! I found a few cranberries in my freezer after the holidays and a little piece of Cambozola cheese so I had to make this winter salad.
Winter Greens with Cranberry Port Vinaigrette is what I call a fancy salad, worthy of company. It has a warm dressing made with port and fresh cranberries, not an everyday salad in my kitchen. Pistachio nuts add a nice crunch to the soft greens and a creamy blue cheese adds a richness that brings it all together. This salad is perfect for entertaining all fall and winter.
So what are winter greens you ask? That would be greens available in the winter such as chard, collards, rapini and kale. However, I make this salad with any soft salad greens you like, a bag of spring mixed greens is just fine for me. But don’t use anything bitter like romaine lettuce, that needs a different kind of dressing to stand up to it.
Blue cheese is now known to be safe for a gluten free diet. The Canadian Celiac Association has a short paragraph on page 10 of this newsletter and The Spruce Eats has this extensive article titled Blue Cheese Is Gluten-Free: A Research Update.
However, if you don’t like blue cheese because it is made of mould and smells like stinky socks…that’s a different problem. You might consider Cambozola. This cheese is a delicious combination of creamy Camembert and Italian Gorgonzola. It is a mild, soft blue cheese and could be considered an introduction into the world of blue cheese. But if blue just isn’t your thing then substitute a creamy goat cheese and enjoy.
When I make a salad for a dinner party I want to use the freshest ingredients. But when that dressing is sitting in my fridge the next week I experiment a little. I reheat the dressing in the microwave and toss it with any combination of lettuce and cheese I have on hand. I even take it in my lunch. Sometimes these new combinations create new favourites. Other times it isn’t worth repeating. But I know I can always make the original recipe and it will be a fabulous salad.
In the comments below I’d love to hear if you tried this salad and how you changed it.
|CRANBERRY PORT VINAIGRETTE|
|1 cup tawny port|
|1/3 cup thinly, sliced shallots or white onion|
|1 cup fresh cranberries|
|1/3 cup vegetable oil|
|3 Tbsp red wine vinegar|
|salt & pepper to taste|
|8 cups assorted greens|
|1/4 cup shelled pistachio nuts|
|2/3 cup blue cheese or goat cheese|
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