Pomegranates, an old fruit with a new following, appear in the market starting in November. Older varieties are ruby-red, sour-tart and full of flavor. Pomegranate juice—and antioxidant par excellence—is readily available year round and serves as the base for the vinaigrette, but do add some fresh pomegranate seeds to the salad if they are available. The small amount of chipotle in the dressing is not hot, but gives a hint of smokiness that is wonderful with the sweet pear. – Rancho La Puerta’s Cooking with the Seasons book
We also love Rancho La Puerta’s tips on how to vary this recipe: Add crumbled feta or blue cheese and caramelized walnuts or substitute small apples for the pears!
Roasted Pear and Arugula Salad with Pomegranate-Chipotle Vinaigrette (Serves 6)
6 small pears
1 tbsp agave syrup
4 cups baby arugula, stemmed and washed
2 cups mixed baby lettuces, with some red color, stemmed and washed
Pomegranate seeds, optional
For the Pomegranate-Chipotle Vinaigrette:
1 small garlic clove, peeled and minced
1 medium shallot, peeled and minced
¾ cup strong, unsweetened pomegranate juice
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1½ tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp orange zest
⅛ tsp sea salt
⅛ tsp fresh ground black pepper
Pinch of ground cloves
⅛ tsp ground dried chipotle or chipotle in adobo, or more to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Core the pears from the bottom, using a small spoon or melon baller. You may peel them or not, but leave the stem intact. Brush the pears with the agave syrup and roast on a baking sheet until browned and tender, 30-45 minutes, depending on the size and ripeness of the pears.
- Whisk all the vinaigrette ingredients together or puree in a blender.
- To serve, combine the baby arugula and lettuces with the dressing and dividide among 6 chilled plates. Set a pear on each plate and scatter some pomegranate seeds on the greens, if desired. Pass the extra dressing separately.
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