The pomegranates are here! Those little gems are a pain to crack open, but boy do they make a pretty salad.
I put together this Fall Salad with Pear, Pomegranate & Orange Vinaigrette with the intent to create something light and pretty to plate up for the holidays. Light sweetness from the pears and pomegranate, a citrus burst from the dressing and the tiniest bits of crunch from quinoa and toasted hazelnuts.
My friend Ileana and I had a lunch date last week and we both ordered the salad special which included avocado, pomegranate and citrus dressing. The idea of a light citrus dressing is really appealing to me in the winter. It must be all the oranges that hit the market soon. I can’t wait for the Cara Cara oranges to come back and then I make this amazing orange creamsicle smoothie!
I think we’re all on butternut squash/sweet potato overload and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet! I have this butternut squash seed oil that I drizzle on everything in the fall, so I am ready to mix it up with a little citrus zing.
Anyhow, it was a great salad and it made me realize that I had forgotten how delicious a well-constructed salad can be!
Especially when the salad includes toasted hazelnuts. They are my absolute favorite nut. And if you know me, your familiar with my dark chocolate hazelnut biscotti that I make every year for the holidays.
In this salad, hazelnuts provide a nice crunch and intense nutty flavor to measure up to the juicy punch from the pomegranate seeds. The quinoa plays a side role as a seed garnish, not overpowering the greens.
It’s the perfect small salad to start your holiday dinner with a simple, elegant burst of fresh flavor. We all know what follows…I’m guessing soft rolls, potatoes and pie to name a few.
Stay in touch! Follow me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest to get the latest!
- 3 Tb orange juice (preferably fresh squeezed)
- 2 Tb olive oil
- 2 Tb apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tb honey
- dash of salt
- dash of pepper
- 1 Anjou pear, thinly sliced
- 1 pomegranate, seeds removed
- ½ cup hazelnut pieces, toasted
- .25 lb crumbled french feta
- 5 oz organic mixed greens
- ½ cup dry red quinoa, cooked until just tender
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil
- Prepare the dressing by mixing all ingredients in a small Cuisanart, slowly pouring in olive oil until emulsified. Or whisk vigorously by hand in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Rinse ½ cup quinoa under cold water for 1 minute. Add 1 Tb olive oil to a pan, heat and add quinoa to the pan, toasting the quinoa for about 1 minute. The water will start to evaporate off the rinsed quinoa.
- Add 1 cup water and a few dashes of salt. Bring to a boil, cover and turn down heat to medium-low. Cook until quinoa is just tender, about 10-12 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Toast the hazelnuts, about 5 min at 350F. Set aside.
- To plate the salad, divide greens and pear slices amongst 4 salad plates. Lightly sprinkle with quinoa, hazelnuts, feta, pomegranate seeds. (about 2 tsp of each is all you need) Add a drizzle of dressing, salt and pepper to taste.
- Voila! A nice light and fancy salad for your meal!
Need more Thanksgiving recipes – check these out too!