Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Cranberry Sauce Vinaigrette

I love fresh cranberry sauce. It's fun to cook because the berries pop like popcorn, and the color is beautiful. I like to make a large batch and preserve it in canning jars so it's handy to add to recipes all through the winter. I was making a really nice salad dressing with my blackberry jelly this summer, and found that cranberry sauce tastes great in the recipe too. It is sweet, smokey, with just a small vinaigrette bite.

I've been making a crisp fall salad with apple, crumbled cooked bacon, and spinach. Turkey and pecans are good in there too. If you have trouble convincing kids to eat salad, this vinaigrette with either cranberry sauce or blackberry jelly will sneak up on them, especially if there are loads of apple pieces! It was the deal-maker for me!

1/2 cup jellied cranberry sauce
1/2 tsp liquid smoke flavoring
1 tsp onion salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp xanthan gum

Place sugar and vinegar in a small pot. Heat to a low boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly. Place vinegar mixture and remaining ingredients except xanthan gum in a blender. Blend to mix, then add xanthan gum and continue to mix until dressing has thickened, about 1 minute. Makes approximately 2 cups of salad dressing. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Note:  I use xanthan gum for gluten-free baking, and find it also thickens and holds oil and vinegar together. If you want to leave it out, the dressing will taste the same, just shake before use.