A Fresh New Year Calls for Fresh New Flavor Combinations!

The holidays are a festive, joyous time and I thoroughly enjoy them each year; although once the decorations have been taken down and neatly packed away, my focus turns to the new year and all the possibilities that it may bring. I instinctively begin paring down, getting rid of things that I don’t need and wanting to clean and freshen things up.

This transition also carries over into the foods I’m craving. I feel like I’ve had my fill of rich, holiday foods and begin wanting fresh, clean flavors! I love to have large salads accompany my meals. Along with the extra nutrients they add to the meal, they also get my creative juices flowing while providing a perfect way to incorporate the fresh flavors I’m craving!

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As much as I begin wanting fresher flavors, with Christmas not that distant a memory, I still want to hold onto some of the festive feel. I came up with a vinaigrette that combines holiday flavors and the hint of springy freshness; it’s a rosemary citrus vinaigrette! It’s light and refreshing and goes well on plain spring mix or spinach, as well as salads with oranges, pomegranate, pumpkin seeds, or any other toppings your heart desires!

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Rosemary Citrus Vinaigrette
Ingredients:
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
Juice and zest from one orange
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:
Prepare rosemary infused olive oil:
Combine olive oil and rosemary sprigs in a small saucepan and over low heat, let rosemary infuse into olive oil. Check after 30 minutes, tasting to see if the rosemary flavor is strong enough for your liking. If it is, take saucepan off heat, discard rosemary and let cool. If you’d like it a little stronger, continue cooking over low heat, checking after another 30 minutes. Let cool.

Combine cooled infused olive oil, orange juice and zest in blender or the beaker that accompanies a hand blender. Whisk until blended. Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes about a cup of vinaigrette, enough for a few large salads.

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