I love winter food. Short ribs and mashed potatoes. Pastas and soups. My dutch oven works overtime putting out delicious comfort foods. But despite a temperature today of -21 (I am sadly not exaggerating about that one), I just craved salad. But it had to be a hearty one. One with a tangy dressing. A salad like Roasted Pear and Apple Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette.
To be fair, I was throwing a dinner party tonight, so I wanted something pretty. But it also had to have a little sweet and a little salty. A little soft and a little crunch. I decided on apples and pears as they are easy to find right now (and I had just received some beautiful apples from the neighbor as part of a fundraiser). Roasting the apples and pears softened them and concentrated their sweetness. I chose raw red onion for the sharp contrast it provided to the sweet fruit. Salty parmesan shavings added a touch of savory. Pomegranate arils and pepitas added color and crunch.
To dress this gorgeous salad, I chose pomegranate juice as the base. I reduced it to concentrate the flavor and then added champagne vinegar, shallots, garlic and honey. It was the perfect tangy accompaniment to the salad.
There were no leftovers.
Roasted Pear and Apple Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
- 5 ounces 4 cups spinach and arugula mix
- 2 apples sliced
- 2 pears sliced
- 1/4 cup red onion thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese shaved
- 2 Tablespoons pepitas
- 2 Tablespoons pomegranate arils
- 1 cup pomegranate juice
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 Tablespoons shallots minced
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 2 Tablespoons Champagne vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup olive oil
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Arrange sliced apples and pears on 2 baking sheets.
Roast apples and pears for 25-30 minutes, checking frequently. (You want the fruit to soften, but to still hold it's shape).
Remove from the oven and allow fruit to cool.
While the fruit is roasting, start the vinaigrette.
In a small saucepan, reduce pomegranate juice by half, to 1/2 cup.
Add garlic, shallots, honey, champagne vinegar, and salt to blender or food processor and pulse until smooth.
Add cooled, reduced pomegranate juice to blender.
With blender or food processing running, add oil and blend for 1-2 minutes until fully emulsified.
Pour into a glass jar and set aside.
On a platter or in a large bowl, arrange spinach and arugula mix.
Arrange roasted apples and pears over greens.
Sprinkle thinly sliced red onion over fruit.
Spread shaved parmesan cheese over salad.
Spoon pepitas and pomegranate arils over the top of the salad.
Dress with pomegranate vinaigrette just before serving.
Serve and enjoy!
I served this salad with One Pot Chicken Tarragon over spaghetti, fresh green beans, and garlic ciabatta. Simple, yet elegant.