This is my go-to salad for family holiday get-togethers for lots of reasons: all the ingredients are in season in the winter; it's a light, healthful foil for what's usually a heavy main course; and the vibrant red and greens practically shout out, "Ho! Ho! Ho!" And one more reason: it's delicious! Candying the pecans is a strictly optional step -- you can always just lightly toast them instead -- but I always add candy to salad when I can get away with it! —vrunka
What You'll Need
small red onion, diced
salt and pepper to taste
candied (or toasted) pecans (see recipe below)
Bring about a quart of water to a boil. Put the diced red onions in a large bowl and cover them with the hot water for about 5 minutes. This will take some of the sharpness off of the onions. Drain well.
While the onions are steeping, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. As soon as you've drained the onions (and they're still warm) add the onions. Let the onions steep in the dressing while you complete the salad -- this will give the onions a pickle-y brightness.
Clean and stem the chard. Cut the chard into chiffonade (thin ribbons) by rolling the stemmed halves of the leaves into a long, skinny roll and slicing about a 1/4-inch slices from the end. Note that you can also use the thinner, less fibrous ends of the chard stems, too. If you have rainbow chard, this will add even more colorful zing to your salad. Dice the stems and discard the tough ends.
Toss the chard, pomegranate, and pecans in a large salad bowl. Toss the dressing with the salad. I think it's best to let the salad rest for about an hour in the fridge before serving to let the flavors meld a little.
Heat a heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter in the pan and then add the brown sugar. Allow to cook for a bout one minute, stirring slightly. Add the pecans and stir for about 1 minute more. Pour the whole mixture out onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper (or better yet, a SIlpat). Separate the pecans and allow to cool completely, about 30 minutes to an hour.