2 1/4 cups orange juice
12 tablespoons dried cranberries or pomegranate seeds
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons vinegar: champagne, sherry, raspberry, balsamic, or white wine
1 tablespoon reduced orange juice soaking liquid
Fresh ground black pepper
12 cups mixed baby greens or mesclun, washed and dried
3 cans mandarin oranges, drained (rinse and drain if oranges are packed in syrup)
1 1/2 cups pecans or walnuts, toasted
8 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
- Bring orange juice to a simmer in a heavy small saucepan. Remove from heat. Mix in dried cranberries. Let stand until softened, approximately 30 minutes. Drain well but reserve the soaking liquid.
- Put the cranberry-orange soaking liquid back into the saucepan and reduce to 1/2 cup. Reserve this for salad dressing.
- Whisk oil, vinegar, and reduced orange juice in a small bowl; blend well. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. (You can prepare the dressing one day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.)
- Place greens in a large serving bowl. Gently toss in mandarin oranges, cranberries, and toasted pecans – your hands work best! Pour 2/3 of the dressing over the salad and toss again. Check to see if the greens are lightly coated with the dressing. You may add more dressing to taste.
- Add crumbled goat cheese to top of salad and serve.