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Friday, July 2, 2010

Cranberry Nectarine Salad

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My sister took a bite of the salad on her plate and before even swallowing asked, "is there bacon in this salad?" Confused, I told her no and immediately shoved a bite of the salad into my mouth. Suddenly, I knew what she meant. While this salad did not have a speck of bacon in it, something about the dressing (perhaps the Oriental seasoning packet?) was reminiscent of bacon. Fortunately, I was serving a table full of bacon-lovers, so no one seemed put off by the taste of bacon in their salad. Heck, maybe next time I'll add bacon in addition to everything else...I know a few people who definitely wouldn't complain about that!

Bacon or not, this is a great summer salad. I served this alongside several grilled pizzas and everyone reached for seconds. You can toss the dressing with the salad, or allow everyone to add their own (which works great if you think you'll have leftovers...the salad will be too soggy to keep if you immediately add the dressing).

Cranberry Nectarine Salad
adapted from Southern Living, September 2008

-1 package Oriental-flavored ramen noodle soup mix
-1/2 cup dried cranberries
-1/3 cup canola oil
-1 tbsp light brown sugar
-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
-2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
-1 tbsp soy sauce
-1 package gourmet mixed salad greens, thoroughly washed
-3 large nectarines, cut into wedges (I left the peel on, but you could peel them)
-1/2 cup chopped walnuts
-4 oz. crumbled feta cheese (I just guesstimated here)

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Set aside flavor packet from ramen noodles. Crumble ramen noodles, place on a baking sheet, and bake for 5-6 minutes until toasted (stir occasionally to prevent burning). Set aside and cool completely in a pan.
2. Whisk together flavor packet, oil, brown sugar, vinegars, and soy sauce. Refrigerate until serving.
3. In a large bowl, combine greens, cranberries, toasted noodles, nectarines, walnuts, and cheese. Toss with dressing or plate and allow people to add dressing.

This post is linked to Eat at Home.