Pear, Pomegranate & Spinach Salad

SpinachPomSalad.jpg

If you're looking for the perfect starter to a romantic dinner, or simply want to treat yourself to a festive salad with robust color, crunch and flavor, then this winter salad is the ticket. Pomegranate seeds add beautiful color against the dark green and nutrient rich spinach. Not to mention, the uniquely tangy-sweet pomegranate is an excellent source of antioxidants. The juicy strips of Bartlett pear provide a sweet balance to the radicchio. The entire salad is complemented by the crunch of toasted hazelnuts and a lemon-thyme based dressing. The result is super-nutritious and super-delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened pomegranate juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons roasted hazelnut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 ounces spinach leaves
  • 3/4 cup finely shredded radicchio (from 1 head)
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds*
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts
  • 1 large firm-ripe Bartlett pear

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan, boil pomegranate juice until reduced to 1/4 cup, 5 to 6 minutes. Let cool. Whisk in lemon juice, oil, salt, thyme, and pepper.
  2. In a salad bowl, gently mix spinach, radicchio, pomegranate seeds, and hazelnuts with dressing. Divide among 6 plates.
  3. Quarter pear and core. Thinly slice crosswise, then stack slices and cut in matchsticks. Arrange pear on salads.

Helpful Hints for Extracting Pomegranate Seeds:

No Muss, No Fuss: An Easy Way to Extract Pomegranate Seeds (video)

Cut a pomegranate into chunks. Put chunks in a bowl of water, and, working underwater, use your hands to break seeds free from pith.