Cranberry-Avocado Salad w/Candied Spiced Almonds

Love this salad from honestcooking.com. It’s complimentary with endless cold-weather meals. The spicy almonds also serve as a tasty topping on ice-cream or yogurt and you can tweak the level of spiciness according to personal taste.

Size: 6 dinner size salads, 8 side salads

Ingredients:
DRESSING:
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tbsp poppy seeds
1 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds
1/2 tsp paprika
2 tsp dried mustard
1 tbsp minced sweet onion
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
SALAD:
12 oz baby spinach, arugula, field greens
1 small bunch cilantro, washed and dried, leaves removed whole from stems
2 medium avocados, peeled and halved
3/4 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup Candied Spiced Almonds
CANDIED SPICED ALMONDS:
5 cup sliced almonds, or a 1 lb package
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp butter
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
1-1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika (to taste)
1 tsp vanilla
Sea salt

Directions:

DRESSING: Combine all ingredients in a pint sized glass jar and shake well to dissolve sugar.

SALAD: Place greens and cilantro leaves in a large bowl. Add avocado and dried cranberries and about 1/4 cup of the dressing and toss gently. Scatter candied almonds (see below) over salad and sprinkle lightly with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Pass extra dressing at the table.

CANDIED ALMONDS: Place a large sheet of foil on a work surface. Spray with cooking spray or rub a teaspoon of oil over foil with paper towel.

Place sugar in a large non-stick sauté pan and heat over medium heat, occasionally tipping and swirling the sugar until it is all melted into a pale golden syrup.

Add the nuts and stir gently to coat. Don’t worry if you have some clumps of caramelized sugar… they will melt as you continue to sauté the almonds. Cover and continue to cook on low, stirring every minute or so until almonds are a delicious golden brown. Watch very carefully as they can go from beautiful to burned very quickly! Turn out onto prepared foil and sprinkle liberally with sea salt. Spread out to cool.


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Author: Emily Sarah Downs

Cuisine Coordinator, Tips From Town, Ridgewood, NJ

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