Leafy Holiday Salads with Lemon-Ginger Dressing

.

These two salads are perfect for holiday dinners or buffets.  The lemon-ginger dressing is that special finishing touch for both of them. It can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for a couple of days. 

.

.The leafy apple pomegranate is always a winner!  Photo is a single serving.

.

And not to be left behind is the leafy pear grape.  Photo is a single serving.

These salads are also very tasty with our Poppy Seed Dressing or if you prefer not to make your own and don’t mind the oil and sugar, Brianna’s makes a vegan poppy seed dressing that is also very delicious .

.

Leafy Holiday Salads with Lemon-Ginger Dressing

Servings – 6 (3/4 cup)
Prep Time – 20-30 minutes
Passive Time –  2-4 hours

Ingredients:

Dressing:

1/3 cup + 2 tbsp very hot water

2 tbsp crystalized ginger

2 Medjool dates

1/4 cup peeled sweet orange

3/4 tsp salt

2 tsp grated lemon peel

2 tbsp lemon juice

 

Pear – Grape Salad:

4 cups crisp Romaine lettuce

1 sweet winter pear, ripe but firm

1 cup red or green grapes, halved

1/4 medium red onion, quartered and thinly sliced

1/3 cup roasted or candied pecans*

 

Apple – Pomegranate Salad:

4 cups crisp Romaine lettuce

1 sweet apple, preferable Honey Crisp

1/3 cup pomegranate seeds

1/4 medium red onion, quartered and thinly sliced

1/3 cup roasted or candied slivered almonds*


Instructions:

Dressing:

  1. Soak ginger and dates in hot water while you grate lemon zest, squeeze lemons, and cut peel off orange so there is not any white remaining.
  2. When ginger is softened, pour with dates and water into blender, adding the remaining ingredients. Blend until all is smooth cream. This may take a minute or two depending on the quality of your blender. 
  3. Store in covered container and chill.

Pear – Grape Salad:

  1. Prepare lettuce and halve grapes. Peel and quarter pears, then core and slice in quarter-inch slices.
  2. Combine everything in a large mixing bowl, drizzle on dressing (approximately 3 tablespoons) and toss; top with pecans and serve immediately. Or, you can combine the salad ingredients in a serving bowl and have the dressing and nuts on the side.

Apple – Pomegranate Salad

  1. Prepare lettuce, onions and pomegranates.  Take washed and chilled apples; cut in quarters, removing core; and slice into quarter-inch slices (if preparing ahead at all, dip them in a little lemon juice water).
  2. For this salad, I prefer a wider, flatter serving dish.  Lay the lettuce as the base, arrange the apples and onions throughout, and top with the pomegranates and slivered or sliced almonds.
  3. Serve the dressing on the side or drizzle about three tablespoons over the salad.

Notes:

*To candy nuts:

  1. Toss them with 1 tablespoon of maple syrup.
  2. Spread them out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and bake in a preheated 300 degree oven for approximately 15 minutes–careful not to burn!!
  3. These can be made ahead and stored in a sealed container until ready to use.  Refrigerate if keeping longer than a couple of weeks so they won’t go rancid.