Arugula, Pear and Goat Cheese Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

November 12, 2009
14 Ratings
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Serves 6
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.

Test Kitchen Notes

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&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Vinaigrette
  • 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.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Relish
  • Leslie Vasquez
    Leslie Vasquez
  • lora789
  • Lindsay Christians
    Lindsay Christians
  • linda

67 Reviews

brushjl March 16, 2022
Great recipe. I skipped the dressing, I have plenty on hand. I added roasted baby artichoke and we had a wonderful salad.
N V. December 21, 2021
This is a wonderful fresh salad that pairs well with rich meats or stews. It is a repeat winner in our house.
Relish September 29, 2019
Wonderful salad. Next time I’ll decrease the olive oil a bit. I didn’t have shallots so added some thinly sliced red onion. Really good and pretty.
Kerry G. March 14, 2018
I love this dressing. I used it to dress the date, feta, and red cabbage salad on the smitten kitchen website (and added arugula to that salad because I love arugula!)
Joeyman9 December 17, 2015
We had a "test drive" last evening evening, in prep for Christmas dinner. Most ,excellent... The dressing is a keeper, the salad ingredients work really well together and the dressing makes this salad sing. Thank you for sharing a winner!
Leslie V. December 14, 2015
Had this last night and it was amazing! Absolutely will make it for a holiday dinner!
lora789 March 23, 2015
Great spinach salad http://lightfeeding.com/recipe/good-tasty-salad-everything-need/
Lindsay C. February 23, 2015
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).
Winston December 22, 2014
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 !!
koc October 14, 2014
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!
lpaulk January 5, 2022
Accidentally clicked on "flag inapprpriate" and can't unblock, so sorry!
lpaulk January 5, 2022
Meant "unclick"!
skenny89 August 25, 2014
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.
chrisi May 9, 2014
This looks delicious, but where do you get pomegranate molasses?
allison April 6, 2015
Whole Foods Market
AJ January 30, 2014
Mucho Gracias as to where/how to produce Pom Molasses...
linda January 30, 2014
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!
linda January 30, 2014
I should say it is NOW a staple (didn't mean to say not a staple)
Kathy R. January 24, 2014
A Middle Eastern market is the best place to find pomegranate molasses. Failing that, just boil down pom juice until it is thickened.
AJ January 24, 2014
Luv your Salad site.....but where do you get pom molasses????
jodee M. September 2, 2013
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?
Texas S. September 2, 2013
spicehouse.com 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.
Texas S. August 2, 2013
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.
ChelleT March 13, 2013
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.
Ceege March 7, 2013
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.
brigidc March 10, 2013
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.