Festive Holiday Salad

My "signature salad" during the holidays, perfect for carrying to other homes, easy to scale up for lots of people, even to scale down for a single indulgent serving.

Festive Holiday Salad

"Bring your salad," someone will say. "Okay," I readily agree, happy to have a "signature" salad that everyone loves.

For a holiday dinner, a Christmas party, a New Year's Eve supper, this is my answer to that "bring a salad" request and one I've carried into other homes for years too-many-to-count. This is no spare salad that will grace our tables come January, it's one of celebration, of exuberance, of joy, one worthy of the reason of our season.

ALANNA's TIPS For greens, choose soft, buttery greens such as leafy green lettuce or leafy red lettuce. Some times, I just grab big handfuls of "mixed greens" from the lettuce section at the salad bar. Dried cranberries will go further (and you'll use fewer without sacrificing taste) if they're chopped a bit before adding. Look for small inexpensive packets of Caesar dressing at the grocery store's salad bar. That said, in my experience, bottles Caesar dressing tastes better and may well have higher-quality ingredients.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!


Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time-to-table: 10 minutes
  • Salad greens, torn and dried well
  • Dried cranberries
  • Toasted walnuts or toasted pecans (how to toast nuts)
  • Caesar dressing (I use low fat) thinned with skim milk
  • Chunks of a “stinky” cheese such as Saga blue or Gorgonzola
  • For garnish, extra bits of cranberry, nuts and cheese

TO SERVE NOW Toss the greens, cranberries and nuts. Lightly dress the greens with the thinned dressing, then gently turn in the cheese chunks.

TO MAKE AHEAD & CARRY Separately package the salad greens, cranberries, nuts and cheese in freezer bags. Just before serving, mix the salad as directed.

EMBELLISHMENTS The salad needs none, but if you're inclined, add thin ribbons of radicchio or a handful of fresh-chopped herbs.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per "Side Salad" Serving: 195 Calories; 14g Tot Fat; 3g Sat Fat; 13g Carb; 3g Fiber; 12mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers Old Points 4, PointsPlus 5
I know, I know, there are no "amounts" shown in the recipe so how did I calculate the nutrition information? I did once weigh/measure all the ingredients, that's where the nutrition information comes from. But the point is, this is supposed to be a "make it on the fly" salad, one you just throw together. But it's Christmas, you'll make this salad without thinking, just adding cranberries and nuts until it's enough, adding more or less cheese depending on taste. So this time, just once, let's just wing it and enjoy.

This Week, Years Past 2002 - 2011

Frosty Christmas Trees Saturday Soup Cranberry-Mac Morsels Cranberry Pudding Elk Meatloaf Cinnamon Apples Chocolate Ginger Crinkle Cookies Finnish Meatballs Mexican Fruit Salad No-Roll Christmas Sugar Cookies

More Winter Salad Ideas

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Winter Fruit Salad Holiday Fruit Parfait Mexican Fruit Salad
~ more salad recipes
from Kitchen Parade

~ Healthy Red & Green Green-Bean Salad ~
~ Celery & Apple Salad ~
~ Simple Dandelion Salad ~
from A Veggie Venture, my food blog

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

© Copyright 2011 Kitchen Parade

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Catherine12/11/2011

    Love this type of salad. Had something similar about 5 years ago in California, but it had some citrus fruits in it, and possibly some pear I think. Not sure what the dressing was, but the combo of the nuts, greens, and blue cheese etc. was really refreshing.

  2. Alanna, I'll definitely add this to my three regular winter salads (coleslaw, beets & oranges, fennel & oranges) - love the sound of dried cranberries and salad leaves and nuts and blue cheese!
    Happy bolidays!


Post a Comment

Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna