It’s odd that I am posting the very first pomegranate recipe on our blog being that we have both been pom-crazy for a least a few months. At one point, Melissa found a video showing an “easier” way to remove arils from their pulpy prison… Let’s say that beating a pomegranate with a wooden spoon is not the best idea… unless you are trying to make an already messy job even more so. But at very least, it was funny in a nightmarish – you’ve got red stuff all over your hands – sort of way. It always seems to happen that way though. Opening a pomegranate ultimately devolves into ripping apart the sweet, tart arils and hoping that they don’t jump around or explode all over your clothing. It’s a slow and frustrating task, but rewarding in the end.
While we are almost out of the height of pomegranate season, they are still in stores so it’s a great time to pick one up. The salad I present for your esteemed eyes is in Melissa’s words “really tasty” which I take to mean sweet, tart, nutty and tangy, not to mention festively colored for the holidays (apologies that it took me so long to post it). The combination isn’t something that I would normally think of but in truth I was looking for a way to use a package of black rice that had been sitting on my shelf for a while (black rice isn’t something that one normally craves). This is especially good as a side to larger meals… I did make it for Christmas dinner after all. Turns out that there were so many interesting sides for our dinner that by the time we got around to serving the turkey, almost everyone (except for me) was full. But then again, I can never turn down turkey! My other contribution, popovers, were a relative hit also – if for no other reason than they are not very common (why, I cannot say, since they are exceptionally easy and delectable). The recipe below makes a pretty large portion so feel free to cut it in half for regular non-holiday-meal sized events. Also, the dressing is best the day it’s made, so you may want to add and toss directly before eating if you are making it ahead of time.
- 2 cups black rice (or other wild rice), cooked
- 3-4 leaves of kale, separated from stalks, chopped small, and massaged
- Arils of one medium sized pomegranate
- A generous amount of feta (however much you feel)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp water
- 1/2 cup shallots, minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Cook wild rice in simmering water according to the instructions on the package (this took me about 30-40 minutes). Leave the rice slightly undercooked so it doesn't become mushy when the dressing is added. Drain and place rice in a shallow dish to cool. Cut and massage kale (meaning squeeze it until it's more pliable and green). Once the rice is somewhat cool, toss in the kale and pomegranate arils and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- For the dressing, mince shallots (as small as you can get them). Whisk together lemon juice, cider vinegar, honey, olive oil, water and salt. Finally whisk in shallots and let sit for at least a few minutes before tossing over the salad (if you are using it immediately). The dressing is best used the day it is made so add right before serving. Finally, add a generous helping of feta based on your tastes - believe me it's worth it, even if you want to avoid the cheese, add it, please!