So I successfully survived the first 2 days of second grade, hooray! Here’s hoping I can survive the rest of the year without having a nervous breakdown. The one thing that always gets me through any work day is a delicious lunch that is waiting for me when the bell rings at 11:30. I don’t know about you, but I get stuck in a lunch rut about halfway through the school year. My standard lunch routine is pretty boring: pb & j, leftovers, tuna, turkey, chicken salad, repeat. Lame, I know. Well this year my goal is to shake it up a bit, using leftover ingredients or leftovers themselves to make a brand new meal for lunch.
This salad doesn’t do either of those things, but it would be the perfect base for any leftover meat that I have in the fridge. This salad is amazing on its own, but it wouldn’t hurt to add some type of protein on top. This salad has some of my favorite things in it: glazed nuts, dried cranberries, and avocado. I have been on a major avocado kick lately, buying them at my grocery store in the club packs. And what can I say about the dressing, mmm mmm good is about the only thing that comes to mind. It is packed with incredible flavor and all the elements of this salad just work.
I think it is going to be a staple not only in my lunchbox, but also at the dinner table. I have already made it several times, I find myself craving it at very inconvenient times, salad for breakfast, anyone? The first time I made it I kept in the cilantro, the second time I left it out. You see, I am one of those cilantro haters, yes, we really do exist. So the choice is up to you. I also added some goat cheese the second time around because well life is just sad without it. So the adaptations can be up to you! Just make this and thank me later.
Cranberry Avocado Salad with Sweet White Balsamic Dressing
Yield: 6 dinner size salads or 8 side salads
For the dressing:
⅓ cup sugar
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
For the salad:
12 ounces baby spinach, arugula, field greens
1 cup cilantro, chopped (optional)
2 medium avocados, peeled and halved
¾ cup dried cranberries
¾ cup candied nuts
handful of goat cheese (optional)
What you’ll do:
For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a carafe or glass jar. Shake well to combine. For the salad, place greens and cilantro leaves, if using, in a large bowl. Add the avocado and dried cranberries and about 1/4 cup of the dressing and toss gently with your clean hands. Scatter candied almonds over salad and sprinkle lightly with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Source: The Café Sucré Farine