Thanksgiving: Pomegranate & walnut salad with EVOO and molasses vinaigrette
This salad is a recipe passed down to me by a very special woman who made her way into my life and will always be in my heart, Paloma. I spent many Thanksgivings with her and her friend Concha, exchanging culinary ideas, every year making the meal even better. Paloma was from Madrid, born to a mother who was a professional chef. Concha is from Ceuta, Spain and has a culinary repertoire marked by her North African origins.
The salad is perfect for the fall. It is fresh, tangy and surprising. I like it for Thanksgiving since more times than not we have a million dishes to prepare and do not have much time to dedicate to each one. This salad is very easy but elegant.
For the salad:
Any mixed greens just no iceberg (I like to mix gem lettuce, rucola and mache)
Walnuts (toasted if you like and have space on the stove top or oven to do so)
Pomegranate seeds removed from the fruit
For the dressing:
1/2 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I recommend Hojiblanca for its low bitterness and peppery aftertaste)
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar (I used Modena but pomegranate balsamic or other flavor would be great)
A scant tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon of Molasses (I use a Spanish brand called Ingenio Nuestra Señora del Carmen)
Salt and pepper to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon of each)
- Put the greens in cold water so that they are nice and crisp when ready to serve.
- Cut the pomegranate in half and beat with a wooden spoon on the outside to release the seeds. Rotate the pomegranate in your hand as you hit the outside of the flesh. Let the seeds fall into a bowl. Remove any fruit lining that may have fallen into the bowl. You only want the garnet colored seeds.
- Wisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing.
- Right before you are ready to serve, spin dry your lettuce leaves and put the salad together either in a bowl or plate by plate.