Monday, December 10, 2012

Coming Back With A Bang! Yeah, a salad's a bang, didn't you know? - Cranberry-Miso Vinaigrette and an Autumn Salad

Oh heavens. Remember when October happened? And then November? And then a third of December? Yeah. I'm really sorry about that. I mean, I didn't have anything to do with the general passage of time, but I did fail to post for approximately 75 days and that is just rude. I consider this thing we've got going on a relationship. An important one. Not hearing from me for coming-on-three months? Unforgivable. Not to mention - totally not my style. Generally on the relationship front I embrace stalking over silence. This approach scored me a husband a few years back, so, obviously it works. I should have stuck with it. I should have bombarded you with documentation of my mad skills at work and run-on sentences and trying-too-hard jokes.

There are no good excuses. I was traveling and then I was lazy.

I am sorry.

So sorry that I am coming back with a bang - something to WOW you and WOO you back. But it's not an overt bang like a brownie or cinnamon roll. I wouldn't want to seem desperate - talk about mixed signals.

And so I bring you, humbly, contritely, a little excitedly: a salad. But not a boring salad! A decidedly fall salad with a creamy, heavenly cranberry dressing. And this dressing. Oh this dressing! Friends! It is something special - fragrant, tart and tangy, a tiny bit sweet. Plus it's fuschia. And if fuschia doesn't say bang, I don't know what does. So go pop that cranberry already.

Pile of cranberry goodness!Heavenly Cranberry Goodness

Cranberry-Miso Vinaigrette
Yield: 1.5-2 cups

1 teaspoon oil (I used sunflower for this part)
3 green onions, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
Juice of one large orange or 2 small ones (I used 2 clementines)(~1/4 cup total)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup maple syrup (or any liquid sweetener)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1-2 heaping tablespoon(s) light miso
1 teaspoon orange zest (from whole clementine or half an orange) (optional)

In a small sauce pan, heat oil over low heat and add green onions and ginger. Stir for a minute or so and then add the cranberries. Stir for a couple minutes (just a minute or so if using fresh cranberries), then add a tablespoon or two of water to mixture. Reduce heat to lowest possible setting and cover with led, allowing cranberries to pop open from the steam.

Meanwhile, put all the other ingredients in a food processor or blender. Once the cranberries are soft and have "popped" (this will take like 5 minutes or so - they kind of crack open a bit and look v. plump and juicy), pour sauce pan contents into food processor or blender, using a spatula to get all that ginger-cranberry gooey goodness, and process until smooth. Add a tablespoon or two of water if you want it thinner (I did not).

Eat on salad (see below) or use it as a dip with vegetables (picture below - toddler crudité) or sweet potato fries or drizzle some over a block of cream cheese or warm brie and serve with crackers. So good!!!

Some salad with my dressingCrudite, toddler style

Autumn Salad with Cranberry-Miso Vinaigrette
Serves 2-4

1 head or bag of lettuce of choice
1 pear or apple or orange, diced or segmented, respectively
1 avocado, diced
1 carrot, finely chopped
Handful of something crunchy like seeds or nuts or cacao nibs

Toss all ingredients in a bowl with 1/4 cup cranberry-miso dressing. Enjoy!


  1. Sounds delicious! Glad you're back. :)

    1. Thanks Sara! Happy to be back. But still struggling to make the time...