PYRC #43: Cranberry, Avocado and Almond Salad with Sweet White Balsamic Vinaigrette

Last week I shared our baked buffalo chicken rolls, and today I'm sharing the second half of our meal - cranberry, avocado and almond salad with sweet white balsamic vinaigrette. Two awesome recipes in one night - I was one lucky girl (or maybe Jeff was one lucky husband).

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CANDIED SPICED ALMONDS: This recipe actually calls for candied spiced almonds, but since it was a separate recipe in itself, I got lazy and skipped it. However, I'm certain that added component would enhance the reviews. Also, beware, the recipe is for a large serving of almonds, not just for the amount you need in your salad.

SERVING SIZE: This recipe is composed of three stand-alone recipes (dressing, salad, almonds), which produces large quantities of each, as just mentioned. I didn't realize until mid-way into the dressing recipe that it was for a FULL bottle of dressing. If you're not interested in making full portions, reduce the measurements.

WHITE BALSAMIC VINEGAR: If you have regular balsamic vinegar on hand or cannot find white balsamic vinegar, using regular balsamic should be an equal substitute. I googled the difference between the two, and taste-wise, the flavors are very similar. Actually, I read that when people opt for white balsamic, it's typically for aesthetic purposes. Next time, I'd probably just stick with standard balsamic (since I normally have it stocked in my pantry), but this time I actually purchased the called-for white balsamic (very unlike me).

DRESSING: Due to the amount of added sugar (probably could have used a little less), this dressing will be pretty thick. Make sure you shake, shake, shake it if it has been resting (and be cautious of thickening if refrigerating).

THE VERDICT: This was a great salad. The ingredients were familiar (I totally want to add goat cheese and red onion), but the dressing was new for me and really complimented the salad perfectly. I was very happy to make something new and defer from my typical oil and vinegar creations. Jeff thought the dressing was more along the lines of store-bought dressing and prefers my standard oil and vinegar salads. I actually agree with Jeff when it comes to day-to-day salads, but this recipe specifically would be such a hit at a large gathering. Next family holiday, here I come!

THE RECIPE: Here's the recipe from Honest Cooking.

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