I’ve got your new favorite Thanksgiving salad!
Yes, salad…for Thanksgiving…it’s a thing. Well, at least, it can be a thing.
Last Thanksgiving, my mom asked if we could include a salad in the carb-wonderland that is our traditional Thanksgiving side dish line-up. It was such a delightful addition to the table that offered a refreshing, crisp bite of healthfulness to contrast the obscene number of yeast rolls I would consume.
This year, I wanted to be sure to include a salad in my Thanksgiving menu. A salad that would be just as addicting as brown butter mashed potatoes and warm rolls stuffed with rum butter.
This is that salad and it is all about the dressing.
Seriously, this dressing. Friends, it is beyond incredible. I kind of want to drink it.
That sounds gross, but once you try it I know you will understand.
In addition to the rich, red-wine vinaigrette, we have buttery pine nuts, salty Parmigiano Reggiano, and the gemstones of the fruit world: pomegranate arils.
The colors, the flavors - everything about this salad just screams of autumn.
Who knew I could show this much enthusiasm over a salad when there are mashed potatoes in sight?!
It’s t-minus ten days until Thanksgiving (HOW?!?). We’ve got turkeys to defrost and pies to bake. Let’s get a head-start on those menus!
Mixed Greens Salad with Pomegranate, Pine Nuts
& Pomegranate Merlot Vinaigrette
1 cup unsweetened 100% pomegranate juice
1 cup Merlot
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 cup raw, unsalted pine nuts
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
4 ounces mixed greens
4 ounces baby arugula
1 heaping cup pomegranate arils (one medium pomegranate)
1/2 lb Parmigiano Reggiano, crumbled
freshly ground black pepper
Cook’s Note: You can prepare the dressing up to 3 days in advance, just be sure to shake well before using.
Combine pomegranate juice and Merlot in a 2-quart saucepan and place over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer steadily for 15-20 minutes; until the juice and wine have reduced down to 3/4 of a cup.
Stir in granulated sugar and cool to room temperature. While the reduction cools, toast the pine nuts.
Place pine nuts in a small, nonstick frying pan and set over medium heat. Toast, shaking the pan every few seconds, until the nuts are golden and fragrant; 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Place salad greens in a large serving bowl and sprinkle with toasted nuts, pomegranate arils, crumbled Parmigiano Reggiano, and a generous sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper.
In a large jar, combine juice/wine reduction, olive oil and mustard. Shake until emulsified.
Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss. Serve immediately.