Saturday, December 14, 2013

Pomegranate #TheSaladBar...Featuring Holiday Pomegranate-Pistachio Salad

This month’s theme for #TheSaladBar is pomegranates. Tangy pomegranate is in season this month, and it’s perfect for creating vibrant holiday salads. You can sprinkle pomegranate seeds (arils) on top of the salad, use the juice to flavor the dressing…or both. Pomegranate arils are vibrant purple-pink and look like tiny jewels when resting against salad greens. To me, the seeds inside have a nutty flavor. I love them! My Holiday Pomegranate-Pistachio Salad with Blood Orange-Pomegranate Vinaigrette is a perfect holiday side dish. It’s light and healthy, and it looks seasonal and festive when you serve it. You can buy a whole pomegranate and seed it yourself. If you decide to go that route, POM Wonderful has an excellent step-by-step video tutorial. However, I opted to use another great POM Wonderful product for this salad: POM POMS ready-to-use arils. They’re refrigerated and come packaged in convenient sealed 4- and 8-ounce cups, ready to open up and use.  So simple! This is a really great time-saving product that I keep on hand throughout pomegranate season. One of my favorite holiday recipes featuring pomegranate arils are my pretty Filo Cups with Whipped Brie, Pomegranate Molasses, Pistachios and Pomegranate Arils. These bite-sized appetizers are a snap to make, but they will WOW your guests!

To save time, I also used convenient Dole Seven Lettuces Salad Blend in this salad. It provides a nice variety of tender, flavorful salad greens. The packaging mentioned that it paired well with citrus flavors, so I knew it would be a great choice. To round out my vibrantly colored holiday salad, I topped it with some good-quality feta cheese and chopped green pistachios. My simple homemade vinaigrette was made using O Olive Oil’s fabulous blood orange-infused olive oil and pomegranate champagne vinegar. These two flavors work really nicely together, and the simple vinaigrette only took a few minutes to whisk together. If you're planning a sit-down meal during the holidays, this salad would make a fabulous addition...especially if it's served in a gorgeous holiday-themed bowl. Let me show you just how simple this salad is to whip up.

Holiday Pomegranate-Pistachio Salad 
with Blood Orange-Pomegranate Vinaigrette
a Weekend Gourmet Original
·          1 bag Dole salad
·          ½ cup POM Wonderful POM POM ready-to-use arils
·          ½ cup crumbled feta
·          ½ cup chopped roasted and salted pistachios
For the vinaigrette:
·          ½ cup O blood orange olive oil
·          ¼ cup O pomegranate champagne vinegar
·          1 tbs. honey
·          1 tbs. shallot, very finely diced
·          Salt and pepper to taste

Step 1:  Add the salad greens to a large salad bowl. Top with the pomegranate arils, feta and pistachios. If you like, ½ cup of mandarin orange segments or blood orange segments can be added as well.

Step 2:  Make the sweet-tart pomegranate vinaigrette by whisking together the dressing ingredients in a small measuring cup. When you're ready to serve the salad, pour the vinaigrette on top and give it a gentle toss. NOTE: Adding the dressing just before serving ensures a fresh, crisp salad. 

That’s it…utter simplicity! This salad is perfect for your upcoming holiday dinner menu. It’s ready to eat in a snap, full of vibrant flavors and textures, and healthy to boot. I love the way the tart arils, salty-tangy feta and pistachios work with the greens. The vinaigrette is sweetly tart and compliments the salad ingredients without overpowering them. The champagne vinegar is lightly acidic, and it pairs so nicely with the citrusy olive oil. Bottom line: this salad is my holiday gift to you!
Be sure to check out the other great pomegranate-inspired salads my fellow #TheSaladBar friends are sharing today. If you’ve never used pomegranate in salads before, I hope the salads being shared today change that!

Disclosure: I was provided POM Wonderful arils, Dole Salad Blends and O Olive Oil and Vinegar to facilitate this post. I received no further compensation, and all opinions expressed are my own.

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