JonPaul jokes with me that I could never actually open a restaurant because the only thing I really like to cook are soups and salads (I personally think that sounds like an awesome little spot). But the truth is, he’s kind of right. I do make A LOT of soups and salads…..maybe too many.
There’s something so magical about compiling a bunch of your favorite ingredients in a huge bowl or stock pot and seeing what you end up with. It’s just fun to play around.
When I’m composing a salad (or really any dish) I look for ways to vary textures, flavors, and colors. Everything in the dish has to have a purpose, and help create balance. I also look for ways to highlight whatever is in season.
This winter I’m loving pomegranates. The little jewel like arils (the red pod containing the seed) are like candy for me. Not only are they juicy and sweet, but these tiny little guys provide a host of health benefits. This superfood provides some of the highest levels of antioxidants you can find, as well as vitamin C and magnesium (and did I mention they are delicious). So of course I’m adding them to almost everything this winter.
I am crazy about how they look and taste in this particular salad. The red is a beautiful contrast to the snowy white goat cheese and the bitter earthy green spinach.
Since spinach and goat cheese both have a more delicate texture, I added shaved fennel for some added crunch and to provide some heartiness and structure to the salad. I also added in toasted pistachios for a salty element to balance the sweet juicy pomegranates.
For the dressing I used my favorite citrus champagne vinaigrette that you can find here. But you can really use any dressing you love. I tossed it all together, and then served it on a large platter. I love serving composed dishes like this on platters. It’s just a prettier presentation, and I love how the greens spread out on the dish. To me it feels heartier and just screams come and get me.
If you’re like me, and are starting to plan out your holiday menu, this would be a great addition. Delicious, simple and gorgeous.
- 6 cups of spinach, rinsed
- 1 bulb of fennel, thinly shaved
- 1 pomegranate, with arils removed and rinsed
- 4 oz. of goat cheese
- ¼ cup of toasted pistachios
- citrus vinaigrette dressing
- In a large bowl, combine the rinsed spinach, fennel shavings, and half of the pomegranate arils and pistachios
- Add a few tablespoons of the citrus vinaigrette to coat. Gently mix together
- Gently place the mixed salad onto a serving dish or bowl. Crumble the goat cheese, and generously sprinkle it on top of the salad
- Top with additional arils and pistachios
- Serve and enjoy!