Beautiful ruby red jewels have started to appear in my supermarket's produce aisle...it's pomegranate season.
For years I passed pomegranates by without giving much of a thought to them-always intimidated by the odd looking insides revealed when sliced open. But in a moment of bravery I sliced one open and actually tasted one of the little seeds and that's all she wrote-from September to January I can't get enough of them.
Truth be told, I don't love salads. Don't get me wrong I like them and I eat them all the time mostly because I know they are good for you. But you know what? I love this salad. I mean I really love it-I could eat it every day, love it. At the risk of sounding too superlative this is the ultimate fall salad. The crispness of the apples combined with the anise flavor of the fennel is perfectly complemented by the tartness of the pomegranate. I recommend using Cortland apples because they stay white longer than most apples and they are a perfect texture for salads.
The California Pomegranate Council offers some tips for no mess removal of the seeds here.
Apple, Fennel, Walnut and Pomegranate Salad with White Pepper Parmesan Vinaigrette
1 medium sized head of fennel, very thinly sliced
1 medium Cortland apple, peeled and cut into matchsticks
2 tablespoon walnuts
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon finely chopped scallion (white part only)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1 Pom Wonderful Fresh Pomegranate
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Place the fennel, apple and walnuts in a medium sized bowl.
Combine the vinegar, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, scallion and pepper in a blender or small food processor; process until smooth.
Pour the vinaigrette over the fennel and apple and toss to coat. Divide the salad between two plates. Slice the pomegranate in half and remove arils. Garnish each salad with the pomegranate arils and season each salad with the salt.
Yield: 2 salads