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
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.