Category Archives: pomegranate

Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Panzanella Salad

I think I went a little pomegranate crazy this last week.  I guess that it’s better (and healthier) than too many cookies at this time of the year, right?  The short days and long dark nights demand for some comfort food.  But I still would like to find meals that are healthy and full of flavor.  The kind of dishes that will keep us warm and toasty during the cooler weather.

I try to find salads that have lots of flavor (which this one definitely does) and use a variety of vegetables.  And I love roasted butternut squash, something I look forward to every fall- it smells and tastes so good.

This salad had softly roasted squash and the crunchy pomegranate seeds.  I love dishes that have a variety of textures and tastes.  The tangy-sweet pomegranate seeds in contrast with the earthiness of the arugula and sweet squash.

Since there are roasted veggies, the salad can get a little soggy.  So make this right before you’re about to eat, it’s not one that will survive more than one day.

Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Panzanella Salad
Adapted from: How Sweet It Is

1 butternut squash, peeled & cubed
1/4 cup & 3 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 crisp apples, core removed & cubed
1/2 loaf of bread (we used some that was a couple days old), cubed
4 cups of arugula (1 of the plastic boxes)
seeds from 1 pomegranate
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp Pom (or 1/4 cup pomegranate juice)
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Spread butternut squash pieces over a baking sheet.  Drizzle of 2 tbsp olive oil and sprinkle: salt, pepper, chili powder, cinnamon, garlic powder and red pepper flakes.  With your hands, mix the oil, spices and squash.  Try to coat all of the squash pieces.  Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, try flipping the pieces during baking.

Then, take out the baking sheet, and add the apple pieces to the butternut squash mixture.  Return the pan to the oven for another 20 minutes.

On another baking sheet, spread the bread cubes.  Drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil.  Bake the bread pieces for 20 minutes, at the same time as the apple-butternut squash mixture is in the oven.

In a large salad bowl mix together: arugula, roasted apples, roasted butternut squash, baked bread pieces and pomegranate.  Toss gently to mix well.

In a small bowl mix: dijon mustard, honey, pomegranate juice, apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup of olive oil.  Whisk the ingredients together.  When serving the salad, drizzle over the salad.

Detox: Pomegranate and Kale Orzo Salad

During this period between Thanksgiving and Christmas a lot of our lives revolve around food.  First, there is the giant Thanksgiving dinner- and we’re all very full.  And in the last couple of weeks a number of our friends have had birthdays- which means more food!  (Don’t worry friends- I will gladly try new restaurants with you!)  And I know many people reach for a salad to give their stomach a break.

I think this salad is a great alternative!  It’s got a light pasta- orzo, a fruit- pomegranate, vegetables- kale, pearl onions, and a great dressing.  And the hardest thing to do (for me) was peeling out the pomegranate seeds.  Don’t worry- in most stores you can buy the peeled seeds.

We took this salad to work almost all week for lunch, and it had the perfect level of lightness, but filling enough that our stomachs weren’t growing an hour after.  It was a great little detox salad from all of the big dinners!

I’m truly a fan of pomegranate.  The texture is fantastic- soft at first, but firm when you bit into it.  Plus it’s not overly sweet.  Around the holidays I like to add it to a lot of salads or dishes, since it does add a festive feel to it with the beautiful red color.

Adding the kale to the salad gave it that earthy taste.  If you’re not a fan of kale, I think spinach or arugula would be a great substitution.   That small change can actually make the dish even lighter, and have a spring or summer feel to it.  Very versatile.  I’d love to hear of any additions or substitutions any you might have!

Pomegranate and Kale Orzo Salad
Adapted from: Happyolks
Servings: 6-8 lunch salads

1 pinch & 1 tsp of salt
2 cups of pearl onions
1 tsp & 1/4 cup of olive oil
2 1/2 cups of orzo
2 pomegranates
1-2 bunches of kale, chopped
juice of 1 orange
1 tbsp honey

In a large pot, add water and cook it.  Once the water is boiling, add a pinch of salt.  Then add the pearl onions.  Cook them for about 10 minutes.  Once they are cooked through, use a strainer to take all of the pearl onions out of the pot.  Leave the water in the pot.  Set the cooked pearl onions aside in a bowl.

In the pot with the boiling water, add the orzo.  Add 1 tsp of olive oil and cook the orzo for about 8-10 minutes, or until the orzo is cooked through.  When the orzo is ready, drain and rinse with cold water.  Add to it to a large bowl.

While the pearl onions and orzo are cooking, break open the pomegranates.  I tend to cut the fruit into 4 pieces, and then begin to take out the seeds. Meanwhile, pick out and throw out the white fibrous bits.  Add all of the seeds to the bowl with the orzo.

Once the pearl onions are cooled, trim off one end (just a tiny piece).  Squeeze out the rest of the onion from its skins.  Once I removed the skins I roughly chopped the onions (but feel free to keep them whole).  Toss them into the large bowl with the other ingredients.

Then, toss in the chopped kale into the bowl.  Mix all of the ingredients well.

In a separate bowl whisk together: 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1 tsp salt, juice of an orange and honey.  Once it’s all mixed together, pour over the salad.  Toss the pasta salad once more to mix all of the ingredients thoroughly.