This week I came into work one morning and one of my wonderful coworkers said “Hey, I was at the grocery store this morning and I was thinking of you. I thought you might like this.” He handed me a pomegranate.
However simple this gesture might seem, it was most thoughtful thing someone did for me all week so I was determined to make something very special with this little fruit. Having been tasked with bringing a salad to a holiday gathering this weekend, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to make this Cranberry + Pomegranate Salad with Toasted Almonds.
I’m not terribly experienced in working with pomegranates, as they are pretty seasonal up here in the northern hemisphere and it can be a pain to harvest the seeds from the white, spongy membrane inside.
Hmmm maybe that’s why this pomegranate reminded my coworker of me? Because I can be a stubborn, pain in the ass but really sweet at the same time? We’ll address that parallel later.
This salad. It’s great for the holiday season for so many reasons. First of all, it’s red + green… What’s not to like about that? Also, it’s so so easy to throw together. The most labor-intensive part is getting the seeds out of the pomegranate. And of course, the taste!!! The cranberries are tart, the pomegranate seeds are sweet and the toasted almonds add a nutty crunch to even everything out.
What will you need?
1 pomegranate, seeds removed
1 head of romaine or red leaf lettuce
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
For the dressing: (whisk all ingredients together and use as needed)
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp champagne vinegar
1 tsp grainy or dijon mustard
1 tsp dried oregano
Salt & pepper to taste
How do you make it?
Wash and dry your lettuce. Tear the leaves into bite sized pieces and set in a large bowl in the refrigerator to keep cold and crisp. Take some sliced almonds and toast them in the oven for about 5 minutes. Careful not to burn them!!!
Take your pomegranate and make a slice in the top. Tear it apart with your hands and remove the white membrane to start releasing the seeds. Carefully remove all of the seeds by repeating this process with small chunks of the pomegranate – that’s how you’re going to have the best luck.
Once the seeds are removed, your salad is pretty much ready to assemble!
Place a bet of torn lettuce leaves on your plate, then add the cranberries and pomegranate seeds.
Top with some toasted, sliced almonds and possibly drizzle some homemade dressing on top!
You can make this salad for all sorts of occasions. Maybe you want to keep all of the ingredients on hand and make it for yourself throughout the week, or maybe you too have to bring something beautiful and seasonal to a holiday party. Either way! It’s simple, tart, fresh and quite festive. Enjoy!