Avocado Pomegranate Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Friends who read the blog or come over and see my whiteboard menu plan for the week often ask me where I get my recipe inspirations.

Honestly, all over the place.

Some are family recipes. Some are inspired by things I see on Food Network or in movies. Some are completely original, just based on ingredients I love and want to find a way to serve together {like maple – I will put maple syrup in anything}. Some are from cookbooks, old and new.

But you have to have some go-to sources where you know anything you make from there will be good and you’re guaranteed an idea.

I have several of those. Martha Stewart. Damn Delicious. Candid Appetite. Closet Cooking. A new favorite, Cooking Classy. But above all, Half-Baked Harvest.

I swear, Tieghan is a magical recipe sprite who sprinkles amazing flavor combinations into the most creative things and you’re guaranteed to love them.

Even salads.

I love me some salad, but it often gets boring. I’ve done my best to keep mine interesting, but sometimes, even though I think you can take just about any dish and turn it into either salad toppings or taco fillings, I need some ingredient inspiration.

When I saw this holiday pomegranate avocado salad, I knew that was an ingredient mix I had to play with! I love avocados in anything, and the pomegranates look like little jewels strewn throughout the salad.

My version combines pomegranates and avocados with fresh winter greens, candied pecans, roasted pears {in lieu of persimmons}, goat cheese, and pomegranate vinaigrette that is unbelievable and will be added to my list of go-to vinaigrettes.

Check it out, and do go check out the original. Pretty sure you’ll find something to love on Half-Baked Harvest. I always do.

Avocado Pomegranate Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Serves 4-6. About 450 calories per serving.

What You’ll Need:

For the salad:

  • 1 large avocado, sliced
  • arils from 1-2 pomegranates
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 6 cups mixed winter greens
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 2 large ripe pears
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 6 oz crumbled goat cheese

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate juice
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • salt and pepper to taste

How to Make It:

1. Let’s start by roasting the pears. Preheat your oven to 350F. Cut the pears in half and core them using a melon baller. Place them cut side up on a baking sheet, and drizzle the cut side with honey and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake 25 minutes and then slice thinly.

Note: These pears will show up by themselves elsewhere, very likely with ice cream and drizzled with homemade caramel. Just saying.

2. Let’s make the candied pecans. Increase oven heat to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the pecans and toss with the maple syrup and cayenne pepper. Bake at 375F for 15-20 minutes, stirring at about the 10 minute mark. Remove from the oven and let cool.

3. Now let’s make the vinaigrette. In a glass jar or mixing bowl, whisk or shake together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, pomegranate juice, orange zest, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

NOTE: You can either toss this salad together or plate it. I like plating the ingredients individually so you can see them better and combine flavors to your liking.

4. Plate the greens, add the avocado and pear slices, spoon over the pomegranate arils, and sprinkle with goat cheese and pecans. Drizzle with the vinaigrette. Serve and enjoy!

What winter salads are appearing on your menu?

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