Sunday, December 17, 2017

Cranberry, Almond and Roasted Carrot Salad


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

Printable Recipe

Serves 6

2 pounds thin organic carrots with fresh green tops
Extra Virgin Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup Grade A maple syrup

2/3 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (1-2 oranges)

3 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced 
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon of honey 

2 5-ounce boxes of baby arugula
6 ounces semi-hard goat cheese, such as tipsy Goat, Manchego (or feta)
2/3 cup roasted, salted Marcona almonds (Marcona almonds can be found at Costco)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

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. 

Adapted from Ina Garten's, Cooking for Jeffrey.

20 comments:

  1. Yum, sounds delish! I'm always up for a new salad recipe. Love the unusual combination of ingredients! Have a very Merry Christmas Susan, sounds like you're all set!

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    1. Thank you, Chris! Yes, unusual and surprisingly delicious :) Merry Christmas to you and your family Chris. I know it will be a bittersweet for you and Scott this year.

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  2. Definitely my kind of salad, Susan. Your tree is so festively and beautifully decorated. Have a great holiday season!

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    1. Mine too :) I was so surprised that my husband enjoyed it so much! Best wishes to you for a lovely holiday, Angie ♥

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  3. Your salad sounds delicious. I will check out that Tipsy Goat.

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    1. We're enjoying the rest of the cheese with a glass of wine :) Thank you, Mandonna!

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  4. Such a beautiful salad! Merry Christmastime Susan-enjoy the kids:@)

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    1. The salad was such a pleasant surprise ;) Thank you, Lynn, and Merry Christmas to you and your boys!

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  5. Love this beautiful and fresh salad Susan - and your decorations are gorgeous! Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas. It will be a fun year with the grandkids :)

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    1. Thank you, Tricia! I know you will enjoy yours too :) Merry Christmas to you and your family ♥

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  6. I know we would love this..have never found Tipsy cheese..lol but I will find a replacement..I love salads w/ honey and the carrots must sweeten it also..Pinning..also love your decorations..the reindeer and your 3 hearts OMGEE pinned those already!

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    1. The Tipsy cheese is in a 3-pack at Costco along with Manchego and Iberico, but I know stores in Canada differ in their offerings :) It's SO good! We loved it. I love those Scandanavian designs a la Vibeke ♥

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  7. a recipe of a new salad is always welcome, thanks for sharing Susan !A warm hug from Trieste

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  8. Hi Susan! I just bought this cookbook by Ina a week ago and it's great, just like this salad you made! Your red plates are so pretty! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks for letting me know, Pam! I love Ina's recipes :)

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  9. My kind of salad. And your decorations are lovely. Happy Holidays to you and yours, Susan.
    Amalia
    xo

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  10. It certainly looks beautifully festive. The maple syrup with the carrots...I am going to try that as I like honeyed carrots. Sounds as if you have Christmas under control. Hope that you and I both find time for some cookie baking!

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  11. Very festive and perfect for the Christmas table Susan! Happy holidays and Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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