Dried Cranberry, Walnut & Avocado Salad

AARP. Who knew? I’ve been a proud member, according to my card, since 2015, but looking back I wish I would have signed up earlier.

Dried Cranberry, Walnut & Avocado Salad
Dried Cranberry, Walnut & Avocado Salad

There’s the Denny’s discount for one (seriously, our whole family jokes about this, but we do go from time to time) but also a lot of discounts and insightful information. And recipes. This is the second winner I’ve tried, so I’m two for two.

Inspired by the salad in the Eight Eat Lean, Get Clean recipes from AARP is this gorgeous salad. Cherries, Avocado, Walnuts. The problem? Fresh cherries are all but impossible to get in the winter. Rather than using canned or frozen, I opted for the zingier dried cranberries. (Stock up on nuts and dried fruit during the Christmas season when sales and coupons abound. Freeze the nuts to keep them fresh.)

Dressing for Dried Cranberry, Walnut & Avocado Salad
Dressing for Dried Cranberry, Walnut & Avocado Salad

The flavors just worked perfectly over a gorgeous Kale and Greens blend. I seriously wanted seconds. I also chose barley as the grain (and forgot to put it in the salad!) but choose any grain you like (and for a quick cheat, make extra to freeze in packets.)

While I’m sure I’ll revisit this come summer when cherries are in season, I loved the dried cranberries in this salad and dressing. Bright, tangy with a whisper of sweet. The dried fruit gives an intense flavor to the dressing (why have I never thought to use dried fruit before, I don’t know!) but after a taste, I did alter the ratios a bit from the original recipe; the tangier cranberries needed a bit more balance.

Oh, and double the dressing; you’ll thank me later. 🙂

Dried Cranberry, Walnut & Avocado Salad
Dried Cranberry, Walnut & Avocado Salad

Dried Cranberry, Avocado & Walnut Salad

  • Servings: 4 - 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

For the dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • good pinch of black pepper

Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor. Pulse until smooth. Taste and adjust vinegar and/or sugar to your liking.

This should make enough for two salads.

For the Salad:

  • 1 bag of mixed salad blend, washed and dried or about 12 ounces of your favorite lettuces and greens
  • 1/2 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced
  • Squeeze of fresh or bottled lemon juice
  • 1 cup cooled cooked whole grains (barley, wild rice, quinoa)*
  • 4 tablespoons chopped toasted walnuts
  • 3/4 cup of dried cranberries
  • two to three tablespoons finely chopped parsley

Dice avocados, place in a small bowl and drizzle with a little lemon juice. Toss to coat. Combine all salad ingredients. Drizzle with a little dressing. Toss. Serve, passing additional dressing on the side.

from the kitchen of http://www.frugalhausfrau.com, inspired by AARP

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You know I’ll be bringing this to our Throwback Thursday #28 Link Party, hosted by Quinn of Dad What’s for Dinner, Meaghan of 4 Sons are Us, Alli of Tornadough, Carlee from Cooking with Carlee and Moi! That’s right – me!

Click over to our Throwback Thursday post for links to their blogs and social media, rules and more info or just click on the blue leapfrog, below, to view all the Throwback Thursday Posts or enter your own!

I will also be bringing these over to Angie’s Link Party, Fiesta Friday # 109, Hosted this week by Josette @ thebrookcook and Lily @ little sweet baker.! It should be another great party!!

28 thoughts on “Dried Cranberry, Walnut & Avocado Salad”

  1. Bright beautiful salad!! (and I think I have that same salad bowl!!–been around for a while here). Have the end of a packet of faro in the cupboard and an avocado on hand– so I’m trying this! thanks!

      1. I bought mine at a thrift store– so I don’t know how long it’s been around. But I love the classic shape and they way a salad settles in against the wood. Feel sort of organic. I get attached to dishes that have been around a while… xo

    1. Liz, it was so good, I could have just sat at the table and just ate that alone! I am going to experiment with other dried fruits; it was such a nice way to get an intense flavor and a bit of body.

    1. Thanks Carlee – I am wild about avocado. Sometimes I’ll just have half a one for lunch…I’m so glad they’re better for you than they used to think! All those good omega 3’s…

  2. I have another friend who was absolutely thrilled when he was able to become a member of AARP! Who knew about the recipes too? 😉 This one really sounds tasty. Can’t go wrong doubling the dressing either!

  3. As a vegetarian – I loooooooooove salads 🙂 And this one is definitely made for me! I could eat it all by myself.
    It’s also perfect for parties as it’s colorful 🙂

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