Arugula, Pear, and Goat Cheese Salad
Who has to work this week, raise your hand. Okay, now, who is actually—I mean, really working this week and who is just catching up on Google Reader, pinning new pics to Pinterest? Yep, that’s what I thought. I mean, I already did a much needed re-org of my work inbox, cleaned off my desk, put together some emails to shoot out on Tuesday when the rest of civilization goes back to work, and created not one, but two pretty awesome if-I-must-say-so-myself Pandora radio stations. I guess you could say that it has been a pretty productive non working, work week!
I also drew up my 2012 Resolution list hoping to shame myself into actually following any of the resolutions that I make each and every year. There are the usual suspects, such as work out at least three times per week but really try for four, eat healthier, bring lunch to work (so I will resist ordering thai on a weekly basis from the only lunch delivery spot around; see resolution #2), organize my life, drink more water, drink less wine, blah, blah, blah. And then there are some newbies like take a cooking class at Central Market or a photography class, visit the Dallas Farmer’s Market more often, and cook more from my cookbook library…the list goes on but you get the idea.
So, in keeping with my “healthy resolution” theme, I bring you this incredibly delicious and good for you salad using one of my favorite greens, arugula, and my absolute favorite cheese, goat cheese! And did you notice the pomegranate seeds? Seriously heavenly and pretty festive, really. I forget how much I love that fruit sometimes. Mainly, when I am trying to get the seeds out, but then I am instantly reminded of why I just went through the trouble of getting those stubborn seeds out with just one delicious bite.
This salad is easy, flavorful, and beautiful for company. In fact, it has made an appearance at two recent entertaining get-togethers. Call me boring, but it is such a cinch and a crowd pleaser, too. And really, this salad is anything but boring, so on second thought, you can’t call me boring.
Have a safe, happy, and healthy New Year! Until 2012…Cheers!
Arugula, Pear, and Goat Cheese Salad
Adapted from brigidc on Food52
Tip: Seeding a pomegranate have you stumped? Check out this easy tutorial by Simply Recipes!
For the vinaigrette:
1 large shallot, halved and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses (or 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar + 1 teaspoon honey)
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (or apple cider) vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/3 cup good quality, extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
For the salad:
4 cups of arugula, light packed
4 cups of romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
1 ripe pear, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
3 ounces fresh goat or feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup pine nuts (or pistachios*), lightly toasted
*if using pistachios, coursely chop
To prepare the vinaigrette, mix together the shallots, sherry vinegar, pomegranate molasses (or balsamic + honey substitution), and mustard. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until dressing comes together. I like to save bell jars or jars from jam or jelly to use for dressings. Instead of whisking in the olive, I put all of the ingredients into the jar, secure the top very tightly, and shake vigorously until the dressing comes together.
For the salad, mix lettuces in a large bowl. Add pears and half of the crumbled goat cheese (Tip: It is easier to crumble the goat cheese if it is cold). Pour dressing over lettuce but save two tablespoons of dressing. Remember, you can always add, but you can’t take away. Using your heads or salad tongs, toss until dressing lightly coats salad. Add more dressing if salad looks dry.
Crumble the remaining goat cheese over salad. Top with pine nuts (or pistachios) and pomegranate seeds. Serve immediately and enjoy!