Fresh Pear and Candied-Walnut Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

One of my favorite cookbooks to pull out during fall and winter is “The Pastry Queen Christmas:Big-Hearted Holiday Entertaining…Texas Style” by Rebecca Rather.  While there are some fantastic holiday recipes, there are others that I love to cook all year long.  This salad is one I will fix over and over again during fall and winter.  It really is THAT delicious!

Marinating the pears in pomegranate juice not only makes them a pretty festive pink color, but also prevents them from turning brown.

Fresh Pear and Candied-Walnut Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Fresh Pear and Candied-Walnut Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

adapted from the cookbook  “The Pastry Queen Christmas:Big-Hearted Holiday Entertaining…Texas Style

Serves 4

Printable Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 cups unsweetened pomegranate juice
  • mixed field greens
  • 1 cup candied walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts
  • 1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • seeds from 1 large pomegranate

Pomegranate Vinaigrette 

  • 1/2 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup reserved pomegranate juice, above
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 1/4  cup honey
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • pinch of ground pepper

Preparation:

Place cubed pears in medium bowl and pour enough pomegranate juice to cover.  (You might need to put a plate on top of the pears to make sure they are completely submerged in the juice.)  Marinate for about 30 minutes. Drain, and reserve 1/4 cup of the pomegranate marinade for the vinaigrette.

Either plate separately on each plate, or for larger crowds, place the greens in a pretty bowl, sprinkle with the pear cubes, the cheese, pomegranate seeds & candied walnuts.  Instead of dressing the whole salad, I’ll serve the vinaigrette on the side.

Vinaigrette:

In a blender or food processor, combine the reserved 1/4 cup pomegranate juice, mustard, honey, shallot, cider vinegar and oil.  Process until thoroughly blended.  Season with salt & pepper.

Liz’s Tidbits:

1.  Check with your grocery store to see if they sell already seeded pomegranates.  They are a huge timesaver!  However, if you can only find the real deal piece of fruit, check out this site for “How to seed a pomegranate”.

2.  I usually double the recipe for the salad and all its ingredients.  No need to double the vinaigrette…it makes plenty.

3.  Don’t dress your salad with the vinaigrette until ready to serve.  It will cause the greens to wilt.

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