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Author Notes: This simple salad is huge on flavor, thanks to an addictive tart-tangy-sweet vinaigrette that gets its one-two punch from pomegranate molasses. The vinaigrette is inspired in part by a pomegranate vinaigrette from Suzanne Goin in Food & Wine but also creamtea's lime chive cream on this site. (I think I've made creamtea's dressing about a dozen times in the last few months, I like it that much.) Adding a small amount of creme fraiche beautifully rounds the edges of the pomegranate molasses and provides just enough creaminess to lightly cloak the baby arugula. From there, I wanted to keep things simple, not only to let the flavors of the vinaigrette shine, but also to keep the arugula from getting weighted down with too many ingredients. So over the salad I scattered some toasted hazelnuts, a few shavings of pecorino, and a handful of pomegranate arils. The dressing makes more than you'll need for the suggested serving, but having it at the ready is a very fine thing. —EmilyC
Makes 2 large salads or 4 small ones
For the pomegranate vinaigrette
- 2 T shallot, finely minced
- 1 T lemon or lime juice, or to taste
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 T pomegranate molasses
- 1 T creme fraiche or Greek yogurt
- kosher salt to taste
- Aleppo pepper to taste (cayenne can be substituted)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil + 1 T
For the salad
- 2 to 3 cups baby arugula
- ¼ cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped and toasted
- ¼ cup pomegranate arils
- 1 to 2 oz pecorino romano, shaved into long thin strips with a vegetable peeler
- To make the pomegranate vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, mix the shallot with the lime juice, honey, pomegranate molasses, crème fraiche, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Whisk in the extra virgin olive oil in a slow, steady stream.
- To assemble the salad: In a bowl, toss the arugula with the pomegranate molasses vinaigrette, drizzling in just enough to lightly dress the salad. Arrange the arugula on plates or a large serving platter, and scatter the hazelnuts, pecorino shavings, and pomegranate arils over the top.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Pomegranates