I love finding and trying new variations of salads. When I saw a recipe for this salad, I knew I had to give it a try. It was so high on my must try list that I even made a special trip to the store to buy cilantro and avocados.

The special trip to the store was very well rewarded because I loved this salad. I actually liked it so much that I had it with dinner two nights in a row. I probably would have eaten it more times than that, but I ran out of avocados.

I think this will make a nice addition to any holiday celebration. The colors work well with the Christmas season and the taste is absolutely amazing.

Ingredients for the dressing:
⅓ cup sugar
1 ½ tablespoons poppy seeds
1 ½ tablespoons sesame seeds
½ teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons dried mustard
1 tablespoon minced sweet onion
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup champagne vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
⅓ cup vegetable oii
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil

Ingredients for the salad:
12 ounces butter lettuce, baby spinach, or baby mixed greens
1 small bunch cilantro, washed and dried, leaves removed whole from stems
2 medium avocados, peeled and halved
¾ cup dried cranberries
¾ cup Candied Spiced Almonds (I used Trader Joe’s honey roasted almonds.)

For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a pint sized glass jar and shake well to combine and to dissolve the sugar.

For the salad, place greens and cilantro leaves in a large bowl. Add avocado and dried cranberries and about 1/4 cup of the dressing and toss gently. Scatter candied almonds over salad. Toss to coat. You may serve additional dressing on the side if needed.

Adapted from The Cafe Sucre Farine