Sugared cranberry salad is a festive addition to any holiday table. It combines sugared, fresh cranberries (that can be made a day ahead) with baby kale, shaved Parmesan cheese and a candied ginger vinaigrette dressing.
I made sugared cranberries first to top these cheesecakes. I liked them so much that I decided I wanted to find other ways to use them and that is how this salad happened. You could use baby spinach or a spring mix of lettuces if you aren’t a fan of kale. I happen to like the peppery bite the kale provides. It stands up well to the sweet-tart cranberries and the slightly spicy gingery dressing.
If you aren’t familiar with crystallized ginger this is what it looks like. Kind of like hard candy but it’s actually really crumbly and easy to chop.
- 1/3 c. granulated sugar
- 1/3 c. water
- 2 c. fresh cranberries, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (for rolling)
- 2 T. crystallized ginger, chopped
- 1/4 c. white wine vinegar
- 1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1/4 t. black pepper
- 1/8 t. ground cloves
- 16 c. baby kale, washed
- 8 oz. good Parmesan cheese, shaved
- Place sugar and water in shallow pan and heat until simmering (not boiling) and the sugar is dissolved.
- Place cranberries in the pan to submerge. Make sure cranberries are well coated. Using a slotted spoon transfer the coated to cranberries to a wire rack to dry for an hour.
- Place granulated sugar in a shallow pan or bowl and working in small batches, roll cranberries through sugar to coat. Transfer coated cranberries to a clean surface for furthering drying, about 1 hour.
- Combine the ginger, vinegar, oil, salt, pepper and cloves in a small container with an air-tight lid. Divide the baby kale, cranberries and Parmesan cheese evenly among eight salad plates. Shake the dressing vigorously and pour over the salad. Serve.