Holiday Salad a.k.a Asian Pear, Persimmon & Fennel Salad with Hazelnuts and a Pomegranate Vinaigrette.

Serves 4

Holiday salad a.k.a Asian Pear, Persimmon & Fennel Salad with Hazelnuts and a Pomegranate Vinaigrette.

This is a gorgeous looking salad that’s preparation is easy to put together and the flavors are distinct and explosive. It has equal parts of festive and damn deliciousness. Persimmons and pears are the perfect choice for adding a little sweetness while fennel, Frisée and Belgian Endive forms an assertive backdrop along with the hazelnuts and pomegranate jewels, which blend seamlessly together to create a poetic combination of flavors. The thread that weaves all these components together is the pomegranate-mustard vinaigrette, with its elegant bite.

You could swap the frisée and endive for a spicy baby mixed salad or watercress. Try serving this before a meat or fish entrée, or simply place a grilled chicken breast or a piece of poached fish on top. You could also add crumbled goat cheese and use pistachios or nuts of you choice.

INGREDIENTS:

POMERGRANATE-MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE

  • 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 1½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil (use more or less depending on how tart you like your dressing)
  • salt (about ½ teaspoon) & freshly ground black pepper

SALAD

  • 1 Asian pear, cut ½ then sliced thin
  • 2 ripe Fuyu persimmons, cut ½ then sliced thin
  • 1 small fennel bulb, shaved and reserve some fennel fronds (see how to prep fennel)
  • 1 head Frisée, clean and spun dry or 2 cups spicy mixed baby lettuce
  • 1 head Belgian endive, cut ½ then julienned
  • ½ cup of hazelnuts
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ pomegranate jewel (seeds)
  1. Preheat you oven to 300 ℉ (180 ℃). Place the hazelnuts on a sheet pan and bake for 6 – 8 minutes or until you start to smell nuts releasing their fragrant oil. To remove the skins rub the warm nuts in clean damp dish towel, you will not remove all of the skins but that’s ok.
  2. Prepare the vinaigrette: Place the mustard, vinegar, honey, water and pomegranate juice in a bowl and whisk until ingredients are blended. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. To prepare the salad: Place the lettuce, endive and fennel in a mixing bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Season to taste with salt & pepper if needed. Place the dressed greens on a serving plater or individual serving plates and arrange the persimmons and pears. Sprinkle the nuts and pomegranate jewels. Top with fresh ground black pepper and garnish with fennel fronds.

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