Every year during the holidays my step-mother makes a salad similar to this with crispy bacon and a rich, warm salad dressing that she carefully cooks over the stove top and then drizzles over the salad to slightly wilts the spinach. I love the combination of ingredients, but am too impatient to slave away for the dressing since I make this salad several times while pomegranates are in season. For a quick fix I've swapped in my grandmother's everyday sauce vinaigrette, which I always have on hand in the fridge, and it pairs perfectly with the avocado and tart pomegranate seeds. The dressing refrigerates well so it can be made well over a week in advance.
The salad recipe is inspired by Green Christmas Salad from The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins with Sarah Leah Chase. —asideofsprinkles
What You'll Need
hot, dark mustard (such as Dijon)
extra virgin olive oil
Place vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl, and whisk until well blended.
Gradually drizzle in the oil while whisking until emulsified.
Place dressing in a covered jar and refrigerate. Shake well before using. (Yields approximately 1-1/4 cups)
Rinse the spinach and pat dry. Place in a large serving bowl.
De-seed the pomegranate and add seeds to the bowl. (Tip: To quickly de-seed a pomegranate, fill a large bowl with cold water. Break apart the exterior hull and remove the seeds with your fingers under the water. The seeds will sink and the membrane will float to the surface. You can then easily scoop out the membrane and exterior shell, then drain the water to retrieve the seeds. By working under water, this also prevents your hands from getting stained.)
Cut the avocados in half, discard the pits, and slice lengthwise into thin segments, then across to create chunks. Scoop away flesh from the skin with spoon. Add avocado chunks to salad bowl.
Heat 2/3 cup of Sauce Vinaigrette (recipe above) in microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute until warmed, but not hot. Drizzle dressing over greens and toss. Serve immediately.