December 5, 2014
Pear, Pomegranate and Walnut Salad ♥ 'Tis the Season
You can't beat a Summer farm grown garden salad, but my favorite salads are made with Fall ingredients. As much as I like to think I am adventurous in the kitchen, the only pomegranate that ever graced the shelves in my fridge was in the form of a bottle for summer sangria or to add tang to a boring Vodka and Tonic.
Last year, after watching countless food show hosts extol the virtues and the ease of rendering the seeds from a labyrinth of what can only be described as Mother Natures packing material. I can only think that pomegranates were the initial inspiration for the ultimate design of shipping peanuts.
Why go through all the trouble to extract those seeds? Well, besides the fact that their nutrition has put them in the category of Super Foods, every pomegranate is composed of exactly 840 seeds, each surrounded by a sac of sweet-tart juice contained by a thin skin. Moderate in calories; 100 g provides 83 calories, slightly more than that in apples. It contains no cholesterol or saturated fats.
A good source of soluble and insoluble dietary fibers, providing about 4 g per 100 g (about 12% of RDA), which aid in smooth digestion and is suggested by nutritionists for a diet of weight reduction and cholesterol control. Regular inclusion of fruits in the diets boosts immunity, improves circulation, and offers protection from cancers.
If you prefer not to beat your food, pomegranate juice is widely available and is also good source of antioxidant vitamin-C, provides about 17% per 100 g of daily requirement. Consumption of fruits rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents by boosting immunity. Regular consumption of pomegranate has also been found to be effective against diabetes.
Further, it is an also good source of many vital B-complex groups of vitamins such as pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5), folates, pyridoxine and vitamin K, and minerals like calcium, copper, potassium, and manganese.
So, while I like mine in salads, I think they would make a great addition to a sweet ending.
While I know I could wing it when it came to a salad dressing, it never hurts to go to a few pro's for the technicalities, and that meant Williams Sonoma.
After all, they have published more books than Martha on holiday feasts.
Pear, Pomegranate and Walnut Salad
makes enough for 4 salads
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Healthy In a Hurry
* 1/3 cup glazed walnut pieces
* 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 tablespoon honey
* 1 teaspoon Dijon
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
* 8 ounces Boston Bib (butter) lettuce
* 2 ripe pears, such as Bartlett,cored and sliced
* 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
* 1/4 cup goat (or blue) cheese
* Handful of crispy onions
In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, honey, mustard, salt and pepper to make a dressing.
Add the lettuce, pears, pomegranate seeds and walnuts to the bowl and toss gently to mix and coat well. Divide the salad amongst four plates or bowls and top each with about 1 tablespoons cheese and a pinch of onions.