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Avocado-Cranberry Salad

October 29, 2012
 
One of my favorite, versatile salads.  Perfect for a side salad to your main dish, or as a main dish topped with chicken or shrimp.
 
Any type of lettuce greens can be used and the nuts can either be omitted (but why??) or you can use whichever nuts you prefer.
 
Ingredients
serves 6 main dish salads
serves 8 side dish salads
 
Salad
16 oz greens (I like a combination of spinach, arugula, field greens)
1 bunch cilantro, leaves only
2 medium avocados, peeled and sliced
¾ cup dried unsweetened cranberries
¾ cup spiced almonds (recipe below)
 
Dressing
1 ½ tablespoons poppy seeds
1 ½ tablespoons sesame seeds
½ teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons dried mustard
1 tablespoon minced sweet onion
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup white balsamic vinegar
⅓ cup vegetable oil
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
 
In a large bowl, mix together your greens and cilantro. Add avocado and dried cranberries and mix gently.
Combine all ingredients for dressing in a jar or bowl that seals and shake until thoroughly combined.
Pour desired amount of dressing over salad (I don’t use all of the dressing, but rather save some for my other salads in the week!) and mix gently.
Scatter spiced almonds over mixed salad.
Enjoy!
 
Spiced Almonds
4 cups sliced almonds (or any other preferred nut)
2  tablespoons clarified butter
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon vanilla
sea salt
 
In a small saucepan, over med low heat, add butter, cinnamon, smoked paprika and vanilla. Stir until well combined and butter is melted.
Add the nuts and stir gently to coat. Cover and continue to cook on low, stirring every minute or so until almonds are a delicious golden brown. Watch very carefully as they can burn quickly! Turn out onto prepared foil and sprinkle liberally with sea salt. Spread out on foil to cool.

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