Greens with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

This is the perfect salad to accompany your Christmas and New Year meals.  I love the tartness of the pomegranate juice and sweetness of the honey.  It really balances out this delicious vinaigrette.

I used a mix of half baby greens and half baby spinach.  It was perfect.

Let’s get started with the vinaigrette.  I really like the POM pomegranate juice.  The recipe says to use any mild oil, so I personally chose grape seed oil.  Healthy and mild, kind of sounds like a Christmas song.

Add your pomegranate juice, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey and salt and pepper.

Then slowly whisk in the oil.  Minced shallots and minced garlic would be a nice addition, too.

This vinaigrette can be made several days in advance, keeping nicely in the refrigerator.

Here is where you can get really creative.  I used a red skinned pear (more festive) and dried cherries.  You could use apples as the fruit, and cranberries or even pomegranate seeds.  I like using feta, it isn’t too overpowering, but you could certainly use any crumbly cheese.  I think Gorgonzola would also be nice.

Once you have all the goodies chopped and ready to go just toss with the greens and the vinaigrette right before serving.  Top the salad with the toasted hazelnuts.  What a great way to start a holiday meal.

Greens with Pomegranate Vinaigrette, Pears, Feta, Red Onion and Hazelnuts
Serves 4

4 cups leafy greens
1 pear, cored and chopped
1/3 cup toasted Hazelnuts
1/3 cup dried cherries or dried cranberries or even pomegranate seeds
1/3 cup feta cheese
½ cup thinly sliced red onion

Pomegranate Vinaigrette:
½ cup pomegranate juice
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1 tablespoon honey
½ cup vegetable oil (any neutral-flavored oil will do)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together pomegranate juice, balsamic vinegar, mustard, and honey.  Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly, until it’s all incorporated.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Yields approximately 1 ¼ cups.  (The vinaigrette keeps for several days in the refrigerator).

Toss the desired amount of the vinaigrette onto the leafy greens that have been tossed with pear, hazelnuts, dried cherries, feta cheese and the sliced red onion.  Serves 4.


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