Orange Cranberry Salad with Walnuts and Blue Cheese

orange-juice-for-web-2.jpg

One of my favorite things about winter is fresh-squeezed orange juice.  I’ve been lucky in that I’ve spent many years of my life surrounded by orange trees.  Growing up in California, we actually never had an orange tree of our own but the thing about living in the San Joaquin Valley is that even if you don’t have an orange tree, you always know several people who do.  It’s been several years since I’ve lived in California but now here I am in Sicily, surrounded by orange trees once again, and I’m loving it!

There’s just something about the smell of a freshly peeled orange that will brighten my mood even on the worst days. And since I spent December and part of January suffering through a terrible bout of insomnia, these oranges have really had their work cut out for them.  I’ve been juicing them in the morning, snacking on them during the day and adding them to green salads in the evening.  I even served my latest orange salad creation at Christmas dinner.  Since it seemed to be a hit then, I decided to share it with you.

Thanks to my cousin Corinne for helping me figure out the salad dressing recipe once and for all.  Here it is:

Green Salad with Oranges, Cranberries, Walnuts, and Blue Cheese

Orange Cranberry Salad with Walnuts and Blue Cheese

Salad:

1 head Butter, Boston or Bibb lettuce
4 oranges, peeled and sectioned
handful of sweetened, dried cranberries
handful of toasted walnuts
crumbled blue cheese

Dressing:

4 T. fresh orange juice
1 T. white wine vinegar (or anything you have on hand)
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
4 T. olive oil
pinch of salt
freshly ground black pepper

1. Wash and dry lettuce, tear into manageable pieces and put in salad bowl.

2. Using a knife and working over a bowl to catch the juice, peel and section oranges, tossing the orange slices onto the salad as you free each one.

3. As you finish each orange, squeeze juice from whatever orange flesh is left on the peel and from the handful of membrane you should have left over. Set bowl of juice aside.

4. Add the cranberries, walnuts and blue cheese to the salad then place in refrigerator while you make the dressing.

5. Measure out four tablespoons of orange juice into a small mixing bowl. Add vinegar and garlic then slowly whisk in the four tablespoons of oil.

6. Season dressing with salt and pepper to taste.

7. Just before serving, add desired amount of dressing to salad (you’ll probably have some left over) and toss well.

8. Enjoy!

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39 Comments
  1. Meeta

    Hi Nicole,
    First congrats for winning the Food Blog Awards ! Well deserved. This is an awesome recipe for salad. Has all the things we love to eat at home. Gotta give it a try. Need I say that the pictures are just as tantalizing ;-)

    1:24 pm  Jan 12th, 2007
  2. Nic

    Congratulations on the award. You have an awesome blog, I added you to my favorites right away. Thanks for inspiring!

    2:07 pm  Jan 12th, 2007
  3. rachel

    Oh yum!

    5:20 pm  Jan 12th, 2007
  4. Pearl

    That sounds fabulous, and I have most of the ingredients on hand too. :) Have yourself a great weekend.

    5:56 pm  Jan 12th, 2007
  5. Ruby Berry

    This salad looks really good! Thanks Nicole & Corinne :-)

    8:00 pm  Jan 12th, 2007
  6. Caty

    Ooh, I love oranges! All the pictures are great and the salad looks tasty.

    And congratulations on winning the food blog awards!

    8:33 pm  Jan 12th, 2007
  7. rootie2t

    I like using the peel as well- in hot tea, or zested into most anything. I have a miniature orange tree that makes these oranges just a bit bigger around than a quarter. They’re horribly sour but the peel is very thin with no pith and tastes mahvelous!
    The salad looks yummy. Oranges and blue cheese are my favorites.

    9:18 pm  Jan 12th, 2007
  8. leslier

    my husband is obsessed with fresh squeezed oj. When we were in Greece, he had to have at least two a day, and they are like $5 each!!

    9:51 pm  Jan 12th, 2007
  9. Curt

    Nicole,

    Now that you got best new blog, I see you’re trying for humor next year… But please stop the pun-ishment! :)

    I like the “print the recipe” … I may have to steal the idea!

    10:08 pm  Jan 12th, 2007
  10. Elizabeth

    Great site! congrats on your win. I just bought the yummiest bag of oranges from the market and just happened to land on your blog! A great salad that I am making tonight! Thank you for the inspiration!

    10:23 pm  Jan 12th, 2007
  11. misslionheart

    Well done! This is a very tasty blog! :lol:

    1:40 pm  Jan 12th, 2007
  12. Kristen

    You are my hero! Someone brought me a salad after I had my 3rd baby and it had an orange based dressing I’ve been trying to duplicate but have not succeeded. Guess what… THIS IS IT!! Yay! Thank you!

    11:50 pm  Jan 12th, 2007
  13. Nicole

    Kristen: So glad I could help!

    Curt: You’re the first person to make fun of me for the silly joke! I totally expected someone to say something much sooner :-)

    11:53 pm  Jan 12th, 2007
  14. Nicole

    Meeta: Thanks! Hope you give it a try!
    misslionheart: Thank you very much!
    Nic: Thanks for stopping by!
    Aurie: Good luck! I’m not good at fasting :-)
    Rachel: Thanks for stopping by again!
    Pearl: Hope you try it!
    Ruby: Try this with your mom’s blood oranges!
    Caty: Thanks :-)
    rootie2t: I love orange zest too!
    leslier: $5 a glass!! I paid 5 euros for a huge crate of oranges the other day ;-)
    Elizabeth: Glad you found me!

    12:00 am  Jan 13th, 2007
  15. experienceaurie

    I have to stay away from your posts until at least sunday. that looks sooo good, but i’m actually abstaining from eating from sun up till sun down for this week. everything here looks so great though. omgoodness!!!

    4:23 pm  Jan 12th, 2007
  16. Alicat

    congratulations girl!!!!!!!

    I don’t mean to brag or anything — but I so knew you were going to win. ;) lol

    Stewie wants to know if Smack wants to participate in some bitey face?? I’m not sure what that means though…I don’t speak dog. ;)

    5:02 am  Jan 13th, 2007
  17. steveshotdogs

    Happy New Year Nic!

    Congratulations on the good lookin blog Nic!

    Can we call you Nic?

    Why did Steve’s Hot Dogs not win an award of some sort?

    I thought we were a team?
    Love,
    Steve

    8:06 am  Jan 13th, 2007
  18. amanda

    mmm! this sounds right up my alley, nicole. i, too, have been on a total orange kick. especially since i’m relatively new to citrus growing state. my local produce market has had some awesome blood oranges lately that i can’t seem to get enough of.

    11:04 am  Jan 13th, 2007
  19. Nicole

    Ali: Thanks! And Smack’s response to Stewie is…”you’re on!”

    Steveshotdogs: We ARE a team!! And you are my favorite food blog ever. Maybe I’ll host my own contest (totally rigged to ensure that you win, of course)!

    Amanda: I noticed your blood orange quinoa salad! I just brought home some blood oranges yesterday but I’ll probably just juice them. Blood orange juice is the BEST! Take care!

    12:08 pm  Jan 13th, 2007
  20. Orchidea

    Very nice photos… I like the first one more.
    Ciao.

    2:48 pm  Jan 13th, 2007
  21. Randi

    I wish we had oranges growing here in Ontario. I miss all the fresh fruit/veg ( and El Pollo Loco)we had in California!!

    5:18 pm  Jan 13th, 2007
  22. janelle

    It has blue cheese, it has citrus: what is not to love? I just made some yummy sugar/salt walnuts that would go perfect in this salad! Yes, I had a citrus thing going on yesterday and broke down to drink a summery margarita:)

    10:04 pm  Jan 13th, 2007
  23. Corinne

    I just picked some oranges off the tree in Madera and I think I may try this salad on my own! I would also like you to know I am going out right now to buy an electric orange juice jucier and a coffee grinder. The coffee grinder is so I can make the Pistacchio Pasta. Miss ya!

    10:25 pm  Jan 13th, 2007
  24. Nicole

    Orchidea: Thank you!

    Randi: Yes, I feel really lucky to have fresh oranges available to me!

    janelle: Your walnuts would be perfect on this salad! The first few times I used candied walnuts but the ones I had were a little too sweet. I would like to try it with some homemade spiced walnuts. Mmmmm…margarita!

    Corinne: Well the salad should be a cinch for you since you’re such an expert orange peeler ;-) I bought some blood oranges today at the organic market (but I still have tons left that we bought in Agrigento!). Now that Jason isn’t here drinking so much juice, I’m not sure what to do with them all! Miss you too!

    10:54 pm  Jan 13th, 2007
  25. Patricia Scarpin

    Nicole, this salad is a recipe to be repeated over and over again – delicious and fresh!

    I’m a huge fan of oranges, too – love baking with oranges, limes and lemons – and I wish I were surrounded by those beautiful fruits, too!

    11:08 pm  Jan 13th, 2007
  26. misslionheart

    Sorry, I directed you to my deleted blog! Here’s my latest one…

    http://tootsie.wordpress.com/

    11:39 pm  Jan 14th, 2007
  27. rachel

    I’d like to invite you to join in a one day blog event I am hosting over at Food Maven. The details can be found here: http://foodmaven.blogspot.com/2007/01/whats-in-your-basket.html

    It should be a lot of fun so I hope you can join in!

    9:44 pm  Jan 15th, 2007
  28. Susan

    Congratulations! I’ve recently begun following your blog, and it’s easy to see why you won. I’ll try your recipe with some fresh oranges from the farmers’ market here in SoCal. Unfortunately, we’ve had some really cold weather which the farmers say will ruin many cara-caras and blood oranges.

    Susan
    Food “Blogga”
    http://www.foodblogga.blogspot.com

    11:19 pm  Jan 15th, 2007
  29. Nicole

    Patricia: Thanks! I’ve already eaten this salad several times and I’m certainly not sick of it yet!

    Rachel: I’ll check it out…thanks for the invite!

    Susan: Welcome :-) My family has been telling me how the orange crops are in danger due to the deep freezes! Here it’s the opposite…it just wasn’t getting cold enough! We’ve been having spring-like weater lately!

    11:36 am  Jan 16th, 2007
  30. JEssica

    This picture of oranges actually made me smile. like i got all cozy and thought, mmm, i want to be at that table.

    a little bit late – congratulations. i’m very out of the loop on these things. i’ve managed to miss every nomination for every type of web blog award ever. but look i didn’t even have to vote…everyone else knew what i knew, that your site rocks. congratulations !

    1:33 am  Jan 17th, 2007
  31. Kristen

    Oh – I just noticed this post featured on Food and Wine’s Blog watch. Another congrats to you :)

    4:12 am  Jan 17th, 2007
  32. Fer

    It was funny today to pull up your post and see it all about oranges as I did a post over the weekend regarding almost the same thing but Tangerines!! I guess it is just that time of year!

    8:53 am  Jan 17th, 2007
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  34. a. borealis

    Your pictures are so pretty!!!

    8:26 am  Jan 26th, 2007
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