Chef Eric Stein, MS RD CCE

Wellness Chef | Registered Dietitian
Certified Culinary Educator

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Green Salad with Pomegranate-Harissa Vinaigrette

Posted: February 27, 2012 11:00 AM

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This recipe calls for "mixed salad greens". You can use whatever blend you like. Some great choices include arugula, radicchio, red endive, lola rosa, red oak, baby chard, frisee, watercress, spinach, and even shredded red cabbage.

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I generally cut the fat in my dressing with the addition of flavorful liquid, such as vegetable stock. This is a great technique for when making herb vinaigrettes. This dressing however has a ton of intense flavors, so it is ok to use water instead. Harissa is used in the recipe to add a little bit of heat. It is a blend of chilies, garlic, coriander, and sometimes caraway. It can be found in most Mediterranean markets.

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Reducing the pomegranate juice gives this dressing a hint of sweetness without the use of additional sugar. Be sure to watch the juice as it reduces on the stove. If let to reduce to low, the juice will take on a bitter taste. While it should be slightly syrupy in the pan, it will thicken a bit once it cools.

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Generally I make lighter vinaigrettes like this in the blender because it helps to keep them emulsified longer. Since I had a small batch of dressing here, I used the immersion blender.

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You can spot blood oranges at the grocery store by the light red streaks on their orange skin. It kind of looks the the oranges are blushing. High quality blood oranges have deep red flesh. To prepare "supremes", as called for in this recipe, cut the skin away from the fruit with a knife to expose the flesh, and then cut between the membranes. This results in orange segments that are free from any stringy pith.

Green Salad with Pomegranate-Harissa Vinaigrette

I love this salad. I try to incorporate dried fruits and nuts into my recipes whenever possible. This weekend, I came across some blood oranges, so I whipped up a batch of this amazing dressing. It is spicy and sweet, and balances very nicely with the tart oranges.

Yield: 4 Servings

For The Dressing
6 Ounces Pomegranate Juice
3 Cloves Roasted Garlic
1 Tablespoon Harissa
2 Ounces Red Wine Vinegar
2 Ounces Water
4 Ounces Extra Virgin Olive Oil
To Taste Kosher Salt
1 Ounce Shallot, Thinly Sliced
2 teaspoons Mint, Roughly Chopped

For The Salad
4 Cups Mixed Salad Greens
2 Each Blood Oranges, Cut Into Supremes
1/2 Cup Fennel, Very Thinly Shaved
2 Ounces Pistachios
1/3 Cup Dried Apricots, Quartered
As Needed Grana Padano Cheese, Shaved

Method of Preparation
For The Vinaigrette
-Reduce pomegranate juice by half in a small saucepan over medium heat.
-Remove the juice to a small dish and cool completely.
-Combine pomegranate reduction with the next 5 ingredients in the blender.
-Blend on high speed until smooth.
-Slowly drizzle in olive oil while the blender is running to emulsify.
-Season vinaigrette with kosher salt and mix in the shallots and mint.
-Refrigerate dressing until ready to use.

For The Salad
-Combine the salad greens in a medium mixing bowl.
-Toss with vinaigrette and divide salad greens among 4 plates.
-Combine the orange supremes, fennel, pistachio, and apricots.
-Toss with a little more dressing and garnish the salad plates.
-Top salads with shaved grana padano cheese.

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