Festive Pomegranate Salad

Serves: 4 to 6

Vinaigrette Ingredients:
2/3 cup pomegranate juice
⅓ cup red wine vinegar
1 small shallot, finely minced
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
In a medium bowl, whisk the pomegranate juice, vinegar, shallot and garlic together until well combined. Add the olive oil to the mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly, until fully emulsified. Use immediately or refrigerate in airtight container for at least a week. Shake vigorously to combine before using.

Salad Ingredients:
1 bag fresh baby spinach leaves, stems removed (optional, for elegant presentation)
1 cup candied walnuts (recipe available at www.thelostitalian.areavoices.com)
2 pears, thinly sliced 1/8-inch thick
½ cup fresh pomegranate arils
½ cup shaved Parmesan cheese

Directions:
Place the spinach leaves in a large bowl and toss gently with ¼ cup of the vinaigrette until evenly coated. Arrange the sliced pear, candied walnuts, shaved parmesan cheese and pomegranate arils around the top of the salad and drizzle with ¼ cup of vinaigrette, or serve dressing on the side for individual application.

Sarah’s Tips:

  • Vinaigrette may be prepared in advance and refrigerated for at least one week.
  • The pomegranate vinaigrette is also excellent with chicken, pork and fish dishes.

How to easily (and cleanly) open a pomegranate:

  1. Fill a large bowl with cold water about 2/3 full.
  2. Use a sharp knife to cut off the pomegranate’s crown, and then score the outside into sections from top to bottom.
  3. Place the pomegranate over the bowl and use your hands to separate the sections into the water and loosen the arils from the white pulp. The arils will sink to the bottom of the bowl and the rest of the fruit will float to the top. Discard everything but the arils, and then strain the water. The succulent, ruby red arils will be ready for you to eat and enjoy.