Orange and Dried Cranberry Salad with Toasted Walnuts and Mixed Greens
3 tbsp dried cranberries
½ cup orange juice, fresh or frozen
1tbsp white balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp orange juice (reserved from soaking liquid)
2 tsp grated lemon peel
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and pepper to taste
3 cups mixed greens
3 oranges, peel and white pith removed, segmented (you can also substitute mandarins)
½ cup toasted walnuts
Heat oven to 350F and toast walnuts for 8 to 10 minutes. Bring orange juice to a boil in a small saucepan, remove from heat, add dried cranberries (if you’re using apple juice- infused cranberries you can omit this soaking step) and soak until softened for about 30 minutes. Drain well, reserving 3 tbsp of the orange juice for the vinaigrette.
Simmer a small amount of water in a small sauté pan and add grated lemon rind. Simmer lemon rind for a couple of minutes and drain. Put lemon rind in a small bowl with the vinegar and orange juice and whisk to blend. Slowly add olive oil in a steady stream and continue whisking to emulsify dressing. Can be prepared one day ahead. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Place oranges in a mixing bowl and drizzle a small amount of the dressing over the oranges and mix. Arrange ¼ of the orange segments on a salad plate in a decorative pattern, leaving room in the center of each plate for the mixed greens. Toss mixed greens and half of the cranberries in the bowl that held the oranges with just enough dressing to coat. Mound greens in the center of each plate leaving the oranges visible. Scatter walnuts and remaining cranberries around the plate