Romaine Salad with Cranberry-Walnut Topping

You’re probably wondering why I’m telling you how to make salad. I just wanted to share my simple salad method and the scrumptious salad topping that goes with it. In my (almost) 60 years of cooking, I’ve made salad a dozen different ways to satisfy my mom and/or the rest of the people at the table. Now I only have to satisfy my husband and anyone else who shows up will just have to live with our salad. 😉 

We love salad with dinner. We also love those packets of salad toppings available in the produce and salad dressing sections of the supermarket. The problem with those packets is the price – and the additives!

Unfortunately, we don’t like the same dressing, so I make individual salads (never any leftover salad to put/throw away) and top them off with crumbled feta and homemade cranberry-walnut salad topping. The topping adds just the right amount of color and flavor, not to mention that anything with cranberries and walnuts has to be good! This topping uses lower-carb glazed walnuts to remove a little guilt. Admonitions against heating low-calorie sweeteners are ignored; there’s not enough of it used, or eaten, to worry us. I experimented with aspartame, stevia, and saccharine-based sweeteners, but aspartame gave the best end result.

Properly dried topping can be vacuum-sealed and stored for up to 2 months in the pantry, or stored in the refrigerator in ziplock bags. I have stored sealed jars of this topping for several months but this requires a good vacuum sealer, like a Foodsaver®.

The topping can be used on any salad, but this is how we do salad!

Romaine Salad with Cranberry-Walnut Topping
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins

This is the simplest of individual salads - and the way we do salad at our house!

The topping adds just the right amount of color and flavor, not to mention that anything with cranberries and walnuts has to be good!  The topping uses lower-carb glazed walnuts to mollify a little guilt.

Course: Salad, Topping
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 people
Author: WW
  • 1 head Romaine lettuce hearts cut in 1/2" slices
  • 1 ea. tomato, medium large dice
  • 1/2 ea. sweet onion sliced into 4 sections
  • 4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups walnuts chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp. artificial sweetener aspartame (recommended), stevia, or other
  • 2 tbsp. Cranberry-Walnut topping (made ahead and used from storage)
  1. Topping should be made ahead of time and used from storage!

    Cut lettuce into 1/2" slices and distribute evenly into 4 salad bowls

  2. Dice onion and distribute evenly into each salad bowl

  3. Dice tomato and distribute evenly into salad bowls

  4. Add 2 tbsp. topping to each salad

  5. Top with crumbled feta cheese

  6. Add salad dressings of choice

  1. Preheat oven to 170°F

  2. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper

  3. Heat water in a 1-quart saucepan to simmer and remove from heat

  4. Add sweetener and stir to dissolve

  5. Add walnuts and stir to coat completely

  6. Spread walnuts on cookie sheet and mix in cranberries

  7. Place in oven for about 20 minutes (longer if needed) to dry mixture

  8. Vacuum-seal in half-pint canning jars or pint vacuum bags

  9. Alternately, divide topping into sandwich bags and store in refrigerator

Recipe Notes
  1. This topping will work on any leafy green type salad
  2. Store vacuum-sealed topping in pantry
  3. Store ziplock bags of topping in refrigerator


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