Pomegranate Salad & Holiday Salad Marathon!

Pomegranate Salad – the latest addition to my Show Off Salads collection! Fresh pomegranate AND a pomegranate dressing, plus baby spinach, marinated raw kale, honey walnuts and blue cheese come together in a giant festive salad for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and everything in between. And announcing the RecipeTin Eats’ 30 Day Holiday Salad Marathon! Holiday Salad... Get the Recipe The post Pomegranate Salad & Holiday Salad Marathon! appeared first on RecipeTin Eats.

Pomegranate Salad & Holiday Salad Marathon!
Close up of Pomegranate Salad with Baby spinach kale and honey candied walnuts

Pomegranate Salad – the latest addition to my Show Off Salads collection! Fresh pomegranate AND a pomegranate dressing, plus baby spinach, marinated raw kale, honey walnuts and blue cheese come together in a giant festive salad for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and everything in between.

And announcing the RecipeTin Eats’ 30 Day Holiday Salad Marathon!

Overhead photo of a big bowl of Pomegranate Salad

Holiday Salad MARATHON!

Welcome to Day 1 of the RecipeTin Eats’ Holiday Salad Marathon! Something completely different from the usual holiday baking countdowns, I’m bringing you a new salad recipe EVERY SINGLE DAY from today through to Christmas Eve!

That’s 30 new salad recipes* that will land on RTE between now and Christmas. 30! Thirty! THIRTY!!!! And that’s in addition to the 3 usual recipes you will continue to receive each week!

* I get weekends off ????

Are you excited? I am! Because aren’t we all bored of the usual tomato-cucumber-lettuce garden salads??

First up, a festive, substantial, something-a-little-different DOUBLE Pomegranate Salad!

Close up of Pomegranate Salad with Baby spinach kale and honey candied walnuts

Pomegranate Salad

This festive looking salad has holiday written all over it. Think – Christmas/ Thanksgiving, Easter, and every in between. And just generally, when you want to put out a salad that I call a Show Off Salad (here’s more), is something a little different, full of interesting textures and unique-yet-familiar flavours.

Rather than the usual token sprinkling of pomegranates, we’re using LOADS in this recipe for a big hit of fresh juicy pops as well as of course all that vibrant colour. PLUS:

  • Pomegranate Dressing – tart and sweet;
  • Marinated kale – simple and makes raw kale infinitely more delicious;
  • Baby spinach – so it’s not just all kale;
  • Blue Cheese – yes blue-cheese-haters, you can sub); and
  • Cinnamon Honey Walnuts – all day, every day….

I love how this salad has such a variety of textures, colours and flavours that just work together to so well!

Pomegranate Salad in a bowl ready to be eaten

Pomegranates can be a bit pricey but it’s the star ingredient for this salad and you only need 1. Plus, you get more seeds out of it than you think – at least 1 cup, usually more!

What goes in my Pomegranate Salad

Here’s what goes in the salad:

Ingredients pin Spinach Kale Pomegranate Salad
  • Pomegranates – fresh is best for the juiciest pops of colour, with the extra benefit of the sheer satisfaction you get to experience to remove the seeds by smacking the pomegranates. Yes, it is oddly satisfying…

How to make Pomegranate Salad
  • Raw marinated kale – yes, I said RAW but before all you Kale Haters go running for the hills, I like to MARINATE my kale which tenderises the leaves and softens the harshness of the distinct kale flavour. All you need is 1 teaspoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt, then get your hands in there to scrunch/soften the kale and leave for 30 minutes to tenderise. SO MUCH TASTIER!!!

How to make Pomegranate Salad

Oh and PS, this is how I remove kale leaves from the stems (quickly!):

How to make Pomegranate Salad
  • Blue cheese – anything creamy but crumble-able is fine here. If you’re cautious about blue cheese, opt for Blue Castello, it is an excellent mild blue that’s a good way to introduce people to blue cheese. I don’t have a favourite, I just generally love all manner of blue cheese!
  • Dried cranberries – for an extra little sprinkle of holiday flavour!

Pomegranate Dressing

Here’s what you need for the tangy/sweet Pomegranate Dressing:

Pomegranate Dressing ingredients

Pomegranate Molasses

Pomegranate Molasses is the star ingredient here, a thick sweet-tart syrup that tastes like Balsamic Reduction/Glaze that we use for things like Caprese Salad – with the bonus of lovely pomegranate flavour. It’s made by reducing pomegranate juice and thickened using sugar to make it syrupy so it makes a beautiful thick dressing that coats the salad well.

Pomegranate Molasses for Pomegranate Salad

Where to buy pomegranate molasses – It’s pretty common nowadays, sold in the vinegar section of everyday grocery stores and while you can get expensive brands, you can also find good value ones. The one pictured below is from Harris Farm Markets (Sydney) and cost $5. Pricier than most vinegars but you get good bang for your buck because a little goes a long way and it’s excellent to use as an instant salad dressing – just drizzle over any greens (raw, steamed, roasted). You don’t need much, it’s got an intense flavour!

It also makes an excellent straight substitute for Balsamic Glaze in any recipe.

Serving Pomegranate Salad

Honey Cinnamon Candied Walnuts

And last but not least, here’s what you need for those crispy cinnamon honey-candied walnuts!

Ingredients in Honey Cinnamon Walnuts for Pomegranate Salad

Alternative to walnuts – pecans would also be really great in this. Almonds would also be great – I would roast them whole then roughly chop into large pieces.

Making the Honey Cinnamon Candied Walnuts

Just toss the walnuts in the honey then bake for 12 minutes, then leave to cool so they become crispy!

Honey Cinnamon Walnuts for Pomegranate Salad
Close up side photo of Pomegranate Salad in a bowl, ready to be served

How and what to serve with Pomegranate Salad

A salad this pretty and unique will be at home at any holiday or celebratory feast – think Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, birthdays and other celebrations. I see it alongside a big juicy roast turkey, a grand beef standing rib roast, the crispiest ever pork crackling roast or a glistening Maple Glazed Ham.

It’s also got good oomph factor, which in my world means this is substantial enough to be a meal thanks to the kale which is definitely more filling than the usual leafy greens.

And it would definitely be the centrepiece in a salad spread, something I’ve been doing more frequently for lunch gatherings for the sheer convenience of being able to do all the prep ahead and no cooking to serve things hot, plus it caters to the Calorie Conscious. In particular in the RecipeTin Family, there is always one person or another on a “diet”!

Here’s a suggestion for a selection of salads for a Salad Spread that I’d serve alongside this Pomegranate Salad:

Salad Spread Suggestion

I know that sounds very healthy and all, serving big platters of salad for a lunch. But inevitable a side of crusty bread and butter makes an appearance, or flatbread for stuffing. I’m not that virtuous! ????– Nagi x


Watch how to make it

Overhead photo of a big bowl of Pomegranate Salad
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Pomegranate Salad – with Spinach, Kale, Honey Walnuts & Pomegranate Dressing

Recipe video above. Fabulously festive to look at, and scrumptious to eat! Crunchy Honey Walnuts help, as does the creamy blue cheese. And as for raw kale haters? Don't despair! This kale is MARINATED to tenderise and temper the kale flavour.
As for the pomegranates – use pre-seeded if you must, but there's something so satisfying about smacking them out yourself! …. Oh, and it's juicier and fresher too! ????
BONUS: Keeps pretty well even once dressed. SERVES: 3 as a filling lunch, 8-10 as a side salad.
Course Salad meal, Side Salad
Cuisine Western
Keyword kale salad, pomegranate salad, pomgranate molasses dressing, spinach salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Kale tenderising/marinating 30 minutes
Servings 8 – 10 as a side
Author Nagi

Ingredients

Marinated kale (tenderise/tastier):

  • 5 kale stems (big and leafy)
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Salad:

  • 1 pomegranate , big, juicy (or 1 cup pomegranate arils, Note 1)
  • 8 cups (120g/4.5oz) baby spinach (or baby rocket/arugula)
  • 100g/3.5 oz blue cheese , crumbled yourself (Note 2)
  • 2 blood oranges , normal oranges, yellow peach, nectarine or grapefruit (optional, for extra colour/juicy/interest)

Honey Cinnamon Walnuts:

  • 1 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans
  • 1/4 cup honey (runny, so warm if super thick), or maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Pomegranate Dressing:

  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses (Note 3)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar (or white wine vinegar or cider vinegar)
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper

Instructions

Marinated Kale:

  • Remove leaves: Grab the base of the stalk then run your fist up the stalk to remove the leaves.
  • Slice: bundle the kale leaves on a chopping board, then slice 0.5 cm / 1/5" thick.
  • Scrunch: Place in bowl, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Use your hands to scrunch to soften leaves and coat everything with the oil, do this for 20 seconds. Leave for 30 minutes to marinade – will soften. Try it – much tastier than plain raw!

Honey Walnuts:

  • Toss: Place walnuts in a bowl, drizzle with honey, sprinkle with cinnamon and salt. Mix, spread on paper lined tray.
  • Bake: Bake at 180°C/350°F (160°C fan) for 15 minutes, mixing once halfway. Leave to cool, then use fingers to roughly break walnuts up into slightly smaller pieces.

Pomegranate Dressing:

  • Place ingredients in a jar and shake very well, being sure that there is no molasses left on the bottom of the jar. (Shake in jar is better than whisking to bring this dressing together).

Remove Pomegranate Seeds:

  • Cut pomegranate in half. Over a bowl, place cut face down on your hand, then use a wooden spoon to (very!) firmly smack the pomegranate – the seeds will fly out through your fingers into the bowl. It’s very satisfying!!!
  • Keep smacking all over the skin until the seeds are all out. Pick out any white pith that fell out, then use seeds per recipe.

Assemble:

  • Dress greens lightly: Place kale and spinach leaves in a giant bowl. Drizzle with about 2 tablespoons of Dressing then toss very well.
  • Layer half: Pour half into a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with 1/3 EACH walnuts, blue cheese (crumbled), pomegranates, orange segments.
  • Presentation layer: Top with remaining kale & spinach, then remaining walnuts, blue cheese, pomegranates and orange segments.
  • Serving: Best served freshly assembled but this salad will hold up much better than most because kale doesn't go as soggy once dressing, it's even good the next day!

Notes

1. Pomegranate – in some places, fresh pomegranate seeds are sold in cups. But nothing beats fresh – it’s juicier, and giving the pomegranate a good wack to remove the seeds is all part of the fun!!
Avoid frozen – they lose colour when they thaw!
2. Blue cheese – fabulous hit of extra wow factor in anything you add it to for the intense flavour, little pops of creaminess and salt. Use anything that can be crumbled, not creamy blue brie. Blue Castello is a very mild creamy blue cheese that is reasonably good value – good for those cautious about blue cheese.
Goats cheese or Danish feta (creamy) – these make excellent alternatives, for the blue cheese shy people, similar creamy crumble-able texture. Firm Greek Feta makes an adequate substitute (but it’s not as creamy).
Don’t buy pre-crumbled, it’s dry.
3. Pomegranate Molasses – sold in bottles in the vinegar section, it’s a reduction that looks like balsamic glaze with the same thick syrupy consistency and a similar sweet/tart flavour. Except it’s made from pomegranates! Common nowadays, available at large grocery stores and no more expensive than balsamic reduction. See in post for more ways to use it – excellent quick drizzle option for salads, you’ll never look back once you try it!

Life of Dozer

Not overly enthusiastic about this Salad Marathon…

Dozer unhappy about salad marathon

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