Dairy Free,  Gluten Free,  Recipe,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

Zuzu’s Petals Winter Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

I decided that a salad may be needed before the new year hits. There were just a lot of cookies last week.

So in keeping with my month’s theme of having a weekly theme, I’m unofficially making this week my Christmas movie inspired food week.

I thought it only made sense to start with my favorite Christmas movie, and most of you probably already know which one that is by the name of this recipe, It’s a Wonderful Life! If you have never seen this movie, you need to stop what you’re doing and find a way to watch it asap! And don’t say you don’t have time, If you’ve got time to be reading food blogs you clearly have a little free time so you just really need to watch it.

If it’s the black and white factor keeping you from ever having seen it then you should seriously get over that too, it’s a classic guys! Sorry, I’m not trying to sound bossy here, I just hate the thought of anyone living a lifetime without seeing it. Best movie ever. You guys know how terrible I am at making decisions but I think I’d go as far as saying it’s my favorite movie, period.

Zuzu's Petals Winter Salad with Orange Vinaigrette (7)

Anyway, this salad has some of my favorite ingredients of winter time like craisins, pomegranates, and apples. I also put rosemary in the orange vinaigrette to add an extra festive touch. For those of you who know that it’s actually summer time for me, you have to admit I’m getting pretty good at this faking it thing, right? It’s definitely most challenging this time of year because I have so many summer fruits around but so many Christmasy winter recipes I want to make with ingredients that aren’t in season. It’s tough sometimes to keep things straight.

Zuzu's Petals Winter Salad with Orange Vinaigrette (4)

If you were wondering, yes, I did put rose petals on it. I can’t say I’ve ever eaten rose petals before but I was surprised at how much I liked them. It’s kind of like eating floraly, soft lettuce and it adds a really elegant touch to this salad. When I was trying to think of a recipe inspired by the movie, I just kept coming back to Zuzu’s petals.

Zuzu's Petals Winter Salad with Orange Vinaigrette (6)

I know they mention a few different foods throughout the movie like “Say brainless, don’t you know where coconuts come from?” and “HOT DOG!”, Oh, and there’s also that mulled wine that Clarence orders, but Zuzu’s petals are one of the keys to the plot. One of my favorite lines is “Look Daddy, paste it !” And then the climax of the movie is when George gets back to his actual life and realizes the petals are back in his pocket and starts shouting how happy he is that his mouth is bleeding. Love it.

Zuzu's Petals Winter Salad with Orange Vinaigrette (5)

So this salad is really simple and quick to make and it’s gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, and optionally vegan. It would make a beautiful addition to you holiday menu for Christmas or New Years with it’s bold green and red colors. If your guests are fans of the movie that inspired this recipe then I’m sure they’ll enjoy the reference, and if not, it would be a good conversation starter.

Zuzu's Petals Winter Salad with Orange Vinaigrette (8)

Hope you’re all having happy holidays and that you make this salad for Auld Lang Syne!

Zuzu's Petals Winter Salad with Orange Vinaigrette (9)

Zuzu’s Petals Winter Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Fans of It's a Wonderful Life will love this salad inspired by little Zuzu's famous flower petals.

Prep Time 20 minutes


Orange Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple or agave syrup
  • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  • petals from 4 large roses washed and torn
  • 4 cups fresh green leaf lettuce shredded
  • 1 medium ripe avocado sliced
  • 1 large gala apple cored and sliced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1/4 cup walnuts roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds


Orange Vinaigrette:

  1. Combine all ingredients for vinaigrette in a jar with tightly fitting lid and shake well. If not using immediately, store in refrigerator for up to 1 week. Shake well before serving.


  1. Toss ingredients together in a large bowl and drizzle with desired amount of orange vinaigrette then pour into a serving dish with salad tongs. Alternatively, for a prettier plate, divide and layer the ingredients between 4 to 6 plates and serve with dressing on the side.



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