I saw a little blurb yesterday that says the average person gains one to two pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. As the parade of buffets, cookies, and cocktails comes our way, let’s make a healthy plan to fill our tummies with a daily salad. As in this salad of winter greens with pomegranate and olives–my new favorite antidote to holiday overindulgence.
There’s a festive feeling about this salad. I mean, curly-leafed frisée lettuce is a party already. Toss in tart fruity pomegranate seeds, salty olives, and toasted sunflower seeds, dress with a lemon caper vinaigrette, and you’ve got a salad that would be appreciated at any holiday gala.
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Besides baby lettuce, arugula, spinach, chard, and a bit of purple radicchio, purchased salad mixes, aka mesclun, include barely a shred of frisée. Not enough for me. This salad of winter greens with pomegranate and olives features a respectable share of the lacy green-edged frisée–equal parts purchased mix to frisée lettuce.
Bright with both orange and lemon juice, the citrus dressing gets its piquant punch from capers. I keep a jar of the little dark green buds in the fridge—capers in their briny liquid last practically forever. You might also enjoy this olive and caper tapenade, an easy appetizer that would also be welcome at holiday parties.
Winter Greens with Pomegranate and Olives kitchen notes:
- Mildly bitter frisée, sometimes called curly endive, is part of the chicory family. Frisée lettuce has a loose head, distinctive feathery leaves, and deliciously bitter and crisp white core. Nowadays, more and more, you can find frisée in supermarket produce sections, as well as farmer’s markets.
- A ripe pomegranate has tight leather-like red skin and octagonal shape, and that’s what I bought. I expected bright crimson arils, and instead found whitish-pink jewels. But the pale seeds had plenty of sweet fruity flavor. We can’t always judge what’s inside by it’s outside cover, can we?
- Winter greens with pomegranate and olives is adapted from the winter green salad in Café Flora Cookbook, from Seattle’s renowned vegetarian restaurant.
Be sure to check out Becky’s The Vintage Mixer blog for seasonal recipes starring fruits and veggies on December’s list. For even more inspiration, follow the links below for recipes from a bunch of other bloggers. We hope our recipes encourage you to get in the kitchen and cook something delicious and seasonal!
Roasted Persimmon Ice Cream by Cafe Johnsonia
Pomegranate Vinaigrette by Joy Food Sunshine
Potato Leek Soup with Italian Sausage by Completely Delicious
Asian Kale Power Salad by She Likes Food
Crunchy Apple-Pear Salad with Pomegranate, Pine Nuts & Yogurt by Simple Bites
Pesto Pasta with Crispy Brussels Sprouts and Bacon by Vintage Mixer
Winter Fruit and Yogurt Breakfast Bowls with Gingerbread Granola by Floating Kitchen
Mini Cranberry Orange Cheesecakes with Gingersnap Crust by Flavor the Moments
Beet and Root Vegetable Tian with Apple Cider Reduction by Food for my Family
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Curly-leafed frisée lettuce with radicchio, fruity pomegranate seeds, salty olives, and toasted sunflower seeds, and a lemon caper vinaigrette makes a wonderful winter salad. Makes about 6 servings.
- ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon drained and rinsed capers, chopped
- Scant ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups green salad mix
- 3 cups frisée lettuce, torn in bite-size pieces
- ½ cup or so pomegranate arils, from 1 pomegranate
- 3 tablespoons chopped pitted olives (I used both green and dark olives)
- 2 or 3 tablespoons toasted sunflower seeds (see note)
Shake the orange and lemon juices, olive oil, oregano, capers, and salt and pepper together in small jar.
Toss about half of the vinaigrette with the greens, pomegranate arils, and olives. You want to lightly coat the lettuce, but not so much that it drowns the frisée. If you think it needs it, toss with a little more vinaigrette. Sprinkle with the sunflower seeds and serve.