Arugula, Pear and Goat Cheese Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

By • November 12, 2009 58 Comments

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Author Notes: Sweet, salty, tart, crunchy and spicy, this salad has perfect flavor and texture balance. The inspiration was pomegranate molasses, which I learned about when I worked on a Persian food class. I like how the molasses takes the acidic edge off the vinaigrette but it is still tangy and delicious.


Food52 Review: Although this salad has lots of different ingredients, it's somehow not overly busy or complicated. We love how the fragrance and sweetness of the pomegranate molasses mollify the tartness of the sherry vinegar in the dressing, and how the shallots lightly pickle in the vinaigrette as you make the rest of the salad. Mellow pears, salty goat cheese, crunchy pomegranate seeds and toasted pistachios ensure that every bite contains a great mix of flavors and textures. Brigidc has carefully mapped out every step, and the result is a balanced autumn salad that can stand alone or work as part of a meal. - A&MThe Editors

Serves 6


  • 1 large shallot, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • 2 tablespoons sherry or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepepr
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

For the salad

  • 4 cups arugula, lightly packed
  • 4 cups romaine, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 ripe pears, cored and cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 3 ounces fresh goat cheese or feta, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped
  1. In a small bowl combine the shallot, pomegranate molasses, vinegar, salt and pepper and whisk until the salt is dissolved.
  2. Whisk in the olive oil and let vinaigrette stand at room temperature until salad is assembled.
  3. Combine the arugula, romaine, pears and half of the pomegranate seeds in a large bowl.
  4. Crumble half of the goat cheese over the ingredients in the bowl (this works best if the cheese is very cold).
  5. Whisk the vinaigrette until uniform and add all but 2 tablespoons of it to the bowl.
  6. Gently toss the salad with your hands or salad tongs, coating the ingredients well with the vinaigrette. If the salad seems dry, add the vinaigrette in small increments until it is dressed to your liking.
  7. Crumble the remaining cheese over the salad and sprinkle the remaining pomegranate seeds and the pistachios over the top. Serve immediately.

More Great Recipes: Fruit|Vegetables|Salads|Olive Oil

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Comments (58) Questions (3)


5 months ago lora789

Great spinach salad


6 months ago LindsayC77

Nice combination of sweet, crunchy and tart, with a little zip from the arugula. Made a big double-batch of this salad yesterday for a wine tasting and an Oscar party, and it was a hit at both (I kept most of the elements separate until I dressed it and served it).

I substituted tart cherry juice, reduced on the stove with a pinch of sugar and lemon, for the pomegranate molasses. It takes an age -- I think mine took two hours -- but it was easy and tasted great (and since I already had it, it saved me an extra $10 purchase).


8 months ago Winston

This was a HUGE hit last night at our annual Cookie Swap….The colors for Christmas were perfect and the flavor !!! Just perfect…I are my own pomegranate molasses from a reductions of juice with sugar and lemon…I will make again and again !!


11 months ago koc

Delicious! Also comes together quickly if you're using store-bought or pre-made molasses. Like others I made the pomegranate molasses from scratch (a reduction of pomegranate juice, sugar and fresh lemon juice-googled a recipe for it). Used crumbled aged cheddar in place of feta or goat cheese. I'll be making this often, thanks!


about 1 year ago skenny89

I made this salad for Christmas and even though I couldn't find Pomegranate Molasses and was up last minute making it at 3am the night before ( it's actually pretty simple just a juice and sugar reduction just takes time like any reduction) The flavor was totally worth. I killed myself cooking but all anybody could talk about the next day was this salad. even if you never use salad recipes, made this. you'll be dying to make it again.


over 1 year ago chrisi

This looks delicious, but where do you get pomegranate molasses?


5 months ago allison

Whole Foods Market


over 1 year ago AJ

Mucho Gracias as to where/how to produce Pom Molasses...


over 1 year ago linda

This is AWESOME! Made it for the first time for Christmas dinner and it was a huge success and so pretty with all the different colors. It's not a staple in my house. I made the dressing from scratch (googled a recipe for homemade molasses) but now I've found a decent pomegranate pre-made vinegrette at the grocery that I like as well so we eat it even more often!


over 1 year ago linda

I should say it is NOW a staple (didn't mean to say not a staple)


over 1 year ago Kathy R

A Middle Eastern market is the best place to find pomegranate molasses. Failing that, just boil down pom juice until it is thickened.


over 1 year ago AJ

Luv your Salad site.....but where do you get pom molasses????


almost 2 years ago jodee martin

where would one buy pomegrante molasses? whole foods and a local grocer didn't have it. Can i make it by mixing pomegrante juice and molasses?


almost 2 years ago Texas Sharon carries it. They even have a few recipes online using it. I'm not a shill for them, but I am a longtime loyal customer.


about 2 years ago Texas Sharon

I had a wonderful salad the other night at Nieto's restaurant in the suburbs of Chicago, made with citrus, arugula, hazelnuts and a raspberry vinaigrette, which I don't like. Another salad had a pomegranate molasses vinaigrette I thought would work and they kindly substituted it for me. Tonight I made a salad of red-tinged Boston lettuce and thin slices of black plums, toasted hazelnuts and this version of pomegranate molasses vinaigrette. Oh, so yumm. It's going into regular rotation here - thank you so much for sharing it. And come the fall, we will do the pear salad as written.


over 2 years ago ChelleT

I know that this is a contest winner and that pretty much every comment raves about it, but my boyfriend and I did not like it at all. We tried the pom molasses before making the dressing and were already not excited about the taste, but we pressed on because of the rave reviews. If you don't like pomegranate molasses you will not like this recipe. It tasted too syrupy sweet, almost like cough syrup. Maybe it was just a bad molasses that we used, because the whole thing sounds great. Sorry to be the one negative review in the bunch.


over 2 years ago Ceege

Gosh, I am at a loss. Where do you find pomegranate seeds. Do I need to buy a fresh pomegranate or can you buy a jar of the seeds? I have never used one before and so not sure what to do. If I need a fresh one for the seeds, then what do I do with the rest of the fruit? Thanks for your help.


over 2 years ago brigidc

pomegranates are probably out of season by now--they usually start around November and you'll see them in stores until around the end of January. Some places sell the seeds in the refrigerated section of the produce dept.--like where you find all the cut-up fruit--in little clear plastic clamshell containers. I live in Idaho, and I've never seen the seeds-only product in my grocery store, but a whole pomegranate is a wonderful thing! Kind of messy, but once you break it open and take the seeds out, you'll find lots of uses for them, especially just eating as a pick-me-up snack.


over 2 years ago Eileen buck

How do you make the Pom molasses?


over 2 years ago Eileen buck

How do you make Pom molasses?


over 2 years ago ABarry

A friend of mine made this recently, and I was so impressed! The dressing itself is fabulous. He omitted the pistachios, but I think it could be just as wonderful with toasted hazelnuts or walnuts -- definitely adding this to my go-to list for salads.


over 2 years ago shiiba

Amazing recipe -- I've made it at least 4 times now. It's always the hit dish at a dinner party. Whole Foods sells pomegranate molasses -- it's a unique item, but really makes the dressing delicious.


over 2 years ago CarlaCooks

I made this salad last night for a dinner party and it was FANTASTIC!!! I love, love, love the dressing. And I totally agree with other commenters that it is a beautiful looking salad. My pears weren't ripe, so I substituted 1 green apple, and I only used arugula. Thank you so much for a great recipe!


almost 3 years ago Laura Abbasi

Made this for Thanksgiving and it was a HUGE hit, not to mention easy to make and gorgeous on the table. I will definitely make this a go-to salad for special occasions and parties. Thanks!