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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Pomegranate Pear Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette


Full of the fall harvest, this seasonal salad is a stunning dish. It's so simple to make that you could eat it every day, but it's also elegant enough to serve with Thanksgiving dinner. Either way, it's a colorful and healthy addition to any meal.

Pears give this dish a crisp and juicy texture while walnuts give it a creaminess. Antioxidant-rich pomegranate adds bright color and a sweet-tart flavor.

To give it some protein and healthy fat, I topped it with slices of raw milk cheddar ($5.49/lb at Trader Joe's).

You can substitute crumbled blue or goat cheese, or omit the cheese completely for a dairy-free vegan dish. You can also substitute any any pear in season for the Asian pear.

I used a mandolin to thinly slice the pear and red onion, but you could use a knife instead. Cut up the pear however you wish.

This recipe serves one or two people as a main course, or three to four people as a starter or side salad (pair it with soup or roasted chicken). You can stretch it by adding more salad greens, but you may need more vinaigrette.

Several cups of salad greens
1 Asian pear or other pear, thinly sliced, core removed
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 small pomegranate, arils removed
1/2 cup raw walnuts
4 thin slices of cheddar cheese
Apple Cider Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Arrange the salad greens on a plate (or plates). Arrange the pear slices on top of the greens. Scatter the red onion, walnuts, and pomegranate arils on top of the pears. Arrange the cheese slices on top of everything. Drizzle Apple Cider Vinaigrette over the top of the salad or serve it on the side.

Apple Cider Vinaigrette

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
Sea salt
Freshly ground peppercorn

Whisk all of the ingredients together until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary (vinegar, salt, pepper). Serve it immediately or store it in the fridge for future use.

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