Winter Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

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    Winter Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette …the perfect starter to a holiday meal, family party or dinner side. The vinaigrette is sweet and tangy and tastes spectacular with sweet oranges and dried cranberries.

    6th Annual I Heart Naptime Crazy Christmas Event

    I’m always looking for a salad, worthy of my special holiday dinners. It needs to be pretty enough for the table, and spectacular enough to compete with the delicious menu. This winter salad gets fancy with segments of sweet, seasonal oranges and tangy dried cranberries.

    The colors are worthy of my special table. I just wanted a dressing that spoke to the holiday!

    close up of winter salad with cranberry vinaigrette

    I whipped up a vinaigrette using fresh cranberries since they are so plentiful this time of year. Fresh (or frozen) cranberries are super tart. Too tart to just eat on their own. By blending them with other ingredients, they break down and mellow to make a delicious mixture.

    ingredients for winter salad on counter

    To make the dressing I blended the cranberries (I keep them in my freezer and just let them thaw on the counter a little while), some lime juice, sugar and red wine vinegar. The lime juice adds a citrus-y brightness that brings the other flavors out. As for the vinegar, you can use any blush or red vinegar. A raspberry vinegar or sherry vinegar would be tasty as well.

    blending together cranberries and lime juice for cranberry vinaigrette

    The sugar does it’s job and sweetens the tart cranberries and vinegar, while still keeping it zippy enough for a green salad. Don’t forget a dash of salt to keep it savory. I added half the olive oil to the blender with the other ingredients to help it blend. However I like to whisk the remaining olive oil in by hand so it doesn’t get too filled with air from whipping around the blender. It makes the perfect consistency for the dressing.

    Use fresh cranberries as much as you can while they’re in season!

    Winter Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette is a beautiful and delicious winter salad

    winter salad and bowl of cranberry vinaigrette on table

    It’s a beautiful red dressing that looks stunning on the table, and on a green salad! I mixed baby lettuces with some tender Mache greens (also called lamb’s lettuce) and frisée. Frisée is the spiky looking chicory and I love it mixed into winter salad.

    winter salad with cranberry vinaigrette on white plate

    Here’s the simple recipe below. For holiday sides and decadent desserts for your special meal click over to my site for recipes like Roasted Grape and Pecan Stuffing and Black Bottom Chocolate Cream Pie!

    winter salad with cranberry vinaigrette on white plate

    Winter Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

    Course: Salad
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: Winter Salad
    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Total Time: 20 minutes
    Servings: 8
    Calories: 220
    Author: Jamielyn Nye
    This cranberry vinaigrette is sweet and tangy and tastes spectacular with sweet oranges and dried cranberries.


    • 1 head frisée washed and torn into small pieces
    • 1/2 (5 ounces) a 5-oz container mixed greens such as baby red leaf and mache
    • 2 oranges peel cut away and segments sliced
    • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
    • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries thawed
    • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon course salt
    • 2/3  cup olive oil


    • In a serving bowl combine the frisée and baby lettuces. Top with orange segments and dried cranberries.
    • To make the vinaigrette, combine the thawed cranberries, vinegar, lime juice, sugar, salt and half of the olive oil in a blender. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl and whisk in remaining olive oil. Serve dressing alongside the salad.


    Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 159mg | Potassium: 183mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 1690IU | Vitamin C: 25.9mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 0.5mg

    winter salad collage

    If you love this winter salad, you’ll love salads too!

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