Cooking-Spree: Pomegranate-Pear Salad with Blue Cheese & Toasted Walnuts

      Pomegranate-Pear Salad with Blue Cheese and Toasted Walnuts

      For most salads I won't specify amounts. What I like in this salad is a mix of greens - the delicate appearance of the watercress, with its arching stems and little leaves, and the pale prettiness of the endive, and the soft big cupping leaf of the Bibb lettuce, all make for a beautiful contrast. But baby Romaine leaves or a mixed spring blend would also work. Be your own guide as to the amounts of each you like. This would be a lovely salad on a Thanksgiving or Christmas table - or anytime while pomegranates and pears are still in season.

      • 1 pomegranate
      • Bibb or Boston lettuce, washed, dried & torn
      • Endives, washed, dried and sliced lengthwise
      • Watercress, washed, dried and thicker stems removed
      • 1 Red Pear (or apple if you prefer), thinly sliced
      • Cheese - blue or Gorgonzola (or perhaps goat cheese if you'd rather)
      • Walnuts - toasted long enough to have a toasted-walnut taste (at 325F for 10 or 15 minutes - watch carefully & taste)

      The Dressing:

      • a simple balsamic vinaigrette, proportions of 3 parts olive oil, 1 part balsamic, with salt and pepper to taste. (You might remember I was given a gift of pomegranate balsamic and naturally I couldn't resist using it here! Another perhaps equally good option - a pear balsamic. But any balsamic will do!)

      Another Option for a Dressing:

      • a raspberry vinaigrette - 2 parts olive oil to 1 part raspberry vinegar, zest of orange, a touch of maple syrup, finely diced red onion, and salt to taste.

      If you wanted to make this salad into a main course for a light supper- simply add strips of poached or roasted chicken, and a side of warm, crunchy bread.

      A note on opening pomegranates and removing their sweet/tart juicy little seeds. It's messy business. I have a shirt, with worn cuffs, that my dad used to paint in. It's my go-to pomegranate shirt. If you remove from the top and bottom a piece the size of a quarter, and then score the pomegranate, just going through the skin, from top to bottom into fourths, you can then pull it apart into four pieces and more easily remove the seeds and separate out the pith. I do this at the bottom of a deep sink and still manage to get little sprays from time to time. That's part of the fun. It's not quite predictable and will never be completely tamed.