The other day while I was on hold with American Airlines, I spent the hours perusing recipes at Epicurious.com. I love the site, and its recipe search engine is very smart. You can search for a specific ingredient, for only dessert recipes, holiday dishes, and so forth.
I was just searching randomly, to pass the time, but then I came across this recipe: Red Cabbage Salad with Green Apple, Lingonberry Preserves, and Toasted Walnuts. The salad wasn’t too different than ones I’ve made; I’ve even blogged about a couple that are very similar, because I happen to love hearty, crunchy salads. It was the dressing, made with lingonberry preserves, that really caught my attention.
So that idea stayed in my head, and when I was at Whole Foods last week I found them! Swedish Lingonberries! I couldn’t wait to play with them and make a vinaigrette.
From the list of ingredients, lingonberries, sugar, and pectin, I expected the lingonberries to be very jam-like. In fact, they weren’t very sweet at all, and didn’t have a jam-like texture to them either. So I got creative, and here’s what I did.
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons beet juice, from canned beets
4 tablespoons lingonberries
1/2 teaspoon sugar
To begin, I added all of the above ingredients to a blender jar, because that’s second nature to me. Then it dawned on me. With beautiful, whole lingonberries in the dressing, it would be much prettier with the ingredients left as is, instead of blending them all together.
So I simply shook the ingredients in the blender jar, and poured the vinaigrette into a serving bowl.
My salad was simple – Romaine lettuce, purple cabbage, carrots, grilled chicken, beets, and a few pine nuts.
I also decided to decorate the salad with a few extra lingonberries, so I rinsed some of the “jam” gently with warm water to separate the individual lingonberries.
Just now as I’m writing this post, I looked back at the recipe that inspired me, and I wish I’d included apple in my salad. With the lingonberries not being as sweet as I expected, a fruit would have been a delicious addition.
But in any case, this vinaigrette is wonderful. Only slightly sweet, and slightly tart at the same time.
note: If you don’t love beets, omit the beet juice. I added it, again, because I wanted to offset the sweetness from the berries, but it wasn’t necessary.
I love lingonberries..
I wish I could try them just picked!
Ligonberries are great! Have you heard that epicurious is being folded into bon apetit? Not sure what this means yet except for some staff cuts and the websites merging, but I hope not too much changes.
Interesting. I love epicurious, so I hope it doesn’t change too much…
They remind me a little of cranberries- I think it would make a wonderful dressing for a Thanksgiving salad
Oh that would be pretty for the holidays!
I’ve never had Ligonberries, but your salad is beautiful!
Me neither! I wish I could taste them freshly picked!
We have 2 Whole Foods where I live so I am sure I can find these berries. Since they are related to blueberries and cranberries I am sure I would love this vinaigrette :)
It’s a lovely combination – the vinegar and the berries!
I love your vinaigrette and especially love that you used the beet juice, too! I’ve been mixing some beet juice with a pomegranate vinegar I found at Trader Joe’s = a wonderful combination. I wonder …are the lingonberries similar in taste with pomegranate. hmmm.
I don’t think they’re as tart as pomegranate seeds, but they’re not super sweet either. Problem is, I’ve never tasted fresh lingonberries, so I’m really not the one to ask!
What a great idea…we have so many lingonberries that I do not always know what to do with all of them. Most of them end up in juice or made into a berry porridge or one of my favorites is to make a simple “sorbet” by putting frozen lingonberries with a bit of sugar into a blender or food processor until nearly minced and then served with meat.
All of those sound like fabulous options!!!
Mimi, I love salads and fruity dressings. I can’t wait to try this salad. PS – Last photo is awesome!
wow, simply delicious and tangy dressing chef!!!
the photograph is stunnign too…
Thank you so much!
Love the recipe. If you have a problem finding lingon berries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea lingonberry or cowberry) you can always find them at IKEA in their Swedish shop and of course you can always go to the forests and collect your own they can be found throughout the more northerly parts of the northern hemisphere.
Which is exactly where i don’t live! But thanks for the info!
Very nice Mimi. It looks both healthy and appetising. A good mix.
Never use lignon berries before but I do have some preserves I keep in the fridge for making sauces, like with roast duck.
Preserves would in vinaigrettes as well as cocktails!
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