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.
- 5 ounces (4 cups) spinach and arugula mix
- 2 apples, sliced
- 2 pears, sliced
- ¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced
- ¼ 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
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ 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 ½ 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.