When I was dreaming up this recipe, I was seeing bright, vibrant colors: electric green mint, magenta cranberries, and golden brown pecans.
Oh, and I was also thinking about the flavors. Don’t you worry. This salad is a total flavor bomb! Let’s do this!
This 30-minute recipe all starts with a sumptuous cranberry compote we’re going to turn into a creamy vinaigrette. Cranberry compote is so simple to make. Simply boil with a sweetener, some zest, and citrus juice for 10 minutes and voila! You’re ready to go.
Next, simply blend or whisk with red wine vinegar, lemon juice, maple syrup, salt, and pepper and you’ve got a creamy, tangy, naturally sweet dressing on your hands.
Another star ingredient? These 1-pan roasted candied pecans. I know!
Simply toast raw pecans on the stovetop. Then drizzle on some maple syrup, coconut oil, coconut sugar, and some spices and you’ve got 8-minute candied pecans. It’s that easy.
All that’s left to do is plate and serve. I went with mixed kale and romaine for my base. Then I dressed it with crunchy cucumbers, fresh mint and parsley, and the candied pecans.
For more “oomph,” I also added some of my 5-Minute Macadamia Nut Cheese (total swoon fest) and some baked crispy chickpeas. These toppings are optional, but they add more protein and fiber to the mix, as well as flavor and texture.
I hope you all LOVE this salad! It’s:
Savory + Sweet
& Super delicious!
This would make the perfect side or entrée for holiday festivities, dinner parties, or when you want a more exciting salad on the menu during the week. I love that it’s seasonally versatile, takes just 30 minutes to make, and is such a beautiful way to get more greens in your life.
If you’re into salads, be sure to check out a few of my other favorites: Garlicky Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas, 20-Minute Asian Kale Salad, Blissed-Out Thai Salad with Peanut Tempeh, and Curry-Roasted Lentil & Vegetable Kale Salad.
If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. We love seeing what you come up with. Cheers, friends!
Minty Green Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette
A minty green salad with roasted, spiced pecans, nut cheese, and a cranberry vinaigrette! Just 30 minutes to prepare this plant-based side or entrée!
Author: Minimalist Baker
Recipe type: Salad, Side, Entrée
Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free
- 8 ounces (227 g) fresh cranberries (or sub frozen)
- 3 Tbsp (45 ml) maple syrup, plus more to taste
- 1/2 tsp lemon or orange zest
- Pinch sea salt
- 3-4 Tbsp (45-60 ml) lemon or orange juice (lemon for more tart, orange for more sweet)
- 1 cup (100 g) raw pecans
- 2 tsp avocado or coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) maple syrup
- 2 tsp coconut sugar
- 1/8th tsp each salt, ground cinnamon, and cayenne pepper
- 4 Tbsp (60 g) cranberry compote
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) maple syrup
- Pinch each sea salt and black pepper
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp (30 ml) lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) avocado oil (if avoiding oil, sub water)
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) water (plus more to thin)
- 7 generous cups (~420 g) mixed greens (I used romaine and kale)
- 1 cup (~30 g) chopped fresh herbs (I used mint and parsley)
- 1 cup (104 g) sliced cucumber (organic when possible, skin on)
- If serving with chickpeas and/or macadamia nut cheese (links above), prepare now (optional).
- Prepare cranberry compote by adding cranberries, maple syrup, lemon or orange zest, sea salt, and lemon or orange juice to a small saucepan and bringing to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cover.
- Cook for 10 minutes or until the cranberries resemble compote. Remove from heat and transfer to a shallow bowl. Set in the refrigerator to cool.
- In the meantime, roast pecans. Heat a medium cast-iron or metal skillet over medium heat and add pecans. Toast for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until deeper in color and fragrant (be careful not to burn).
- Add coconut oil, maple syrup, coconut sugar, and spices of choice and stir to combine. Cook for another 1-2 minutes. Then turn off heat and let cool in the pan, stirring occasionally until serving.
- Make dressing by adding cranberry compote to a small mixing bowl OR a small blender, such as the Magic Bullet (this will yield a creamier dressing).
- Add maple syrup, salt, pepper, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, and oil and whisk or blend on high to combine. Add enough water to make a thick but pourable dressing (~2 Tbsp or 30 ml). Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more lemon or vinegar for acidity, salt or pepper for overall flavor, or maple syrup for sweetness.
- Assemble salad by laying down mixed greens, herbs, cucumber, and roasted candied pecans in a serving platter or bowl. Add additional toppings, such as nut cheese and chickpeas (optional). Serve with dressing.
- Best when fresh. Store leftovers undressed in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Dressing will keep in the refrigerator up to 5 days. Store any leftover cranberry compote up to 1 week. Use to make additional dressing or add to other desserts (such as pies, crisps, or cocktails).
*Cranberry compote adapted from Ambitious Kitchen!
Serving size: 1/4 of salad without nut cheese or chickpeas Calories: 424 Fat: 29.2 g Saturated fat: 3.3 g Carbohydrates: 37.7 g Sugar: 17.2 g Sodium: 112 mg Fiber: 7.9 g Protein: 6.9 g