Cranberry Pecan Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

Cranberry Pecan Salad

Is Thanksgiving seriously next week? What the heck? November is almost over. This year will be my first year hosting Thanksgiving at my house. It will just be my husband and I and his parents so not a huge crowd, but we are excited to have family come to our house for a holiday this time around.

When you think about all the delicious foods you will have on your Thanksgiving table, the salad is probably one of those things you don’t give much thought. With the turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing, a salad just seems unnecessary and boring. My mom has always insisted on having a big salad with Thanksgiving dinner and my brother and I always laugh at her because nobody really ends up eating much of it.

This cranberry pecan salad is a salad that you will not forget about. Fresh baby arugula tossed with dried cranberries, toasted pecans, and goat cheese. You can never go wrong with goat cheese, am I wrong? The fall-themed salad is then tossed with fresh homemade cranberry vinaigrette that adds extra tang and a touch of sweetness. This is truly the perfect and festive salad to serve your friends and family this Thanksgiving!

Cranberry Pecan Salad

Cranberry Pecan Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

For the cranberry vinaigrette:

  • 1 cup cranberry juice
  • 1/3 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the salad:

  • 6 cups baby arugula
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup toasted chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese (can also use feta cheese)

Directions:

  1. To prepare the vinaigrette, add the juice and fresh cranberries to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook until the juice is reduced to about 1/3 cup. In a bowl, whisk together the cranberry mixture, oil, vinegar, honey, and the salt and pepper.
  2. To make the salad, toss together the arugula, red onion, cranberries, and the pecans. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat with the dressing. Add the goat cheese and toss a few more times. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.
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Cranberry Pecan Salad