I was originally going to wait until January to post this recipe. You know, the month when the whole world decides to eat only nuts, green salads, and detox drinks made of lemon, cayenne, and the tears of their cravings. But this winter salad ended up being way too festive and pretty (and delicious) to deprive you of it during the holiday season. Besides, we could all use a salad or two (or more) to balance out the cookies and hot chocolate with schnapps coming at us from every angle.
This salad doesn’t require that you sacrifice half your evening slaving away in the kitchen. It is incredibly simple, yet at the same time is a gorgeous winter dish to share, or to eat all by oneself…which I was tempted to do. I must confess that making this salad also helped me tiptoe a little closer towards enjoying blue cheese (of which I am generally not a fan). I love the compromise of the gorgonzola dolce between a lovely brie and a stinky blue. So take a break from baking and eat a salad! Merry Christmas and happy holidays!
POMEGRANATE, PEAR, AND GORGONZOLA SALAD
serves 4 as a side
4 ounces spinach
1 ripe pear (I recommend Bosc), sliced thinly
seeds of half a pomegranate*
2.5 oz gorgonzola dolce (a milder, creamier version of blue cheese), chopped into small pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1.5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon honey
pinch of salt and pepper
Put spinach in a medium serving bowl and top with pear slices, pomegranate seeds, and gorgonzola pieces.
Whisk together dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Right before serving, dress the salad to your preference, or leave it on the side. The recipe should make more than enough dressing, likely a little extra. The dressing keeps well in the fridge for several days, probably up to one week. The salad is best eaten the first or second day.
*if you are short on time, go ahead and buy just the pomegranate seeds instead of a whole pomegranate (as they take a few minutes to peel); you would need at least 1/2 cup (though I used a bit more, probably ¾ to 1 cup)