This gorgeous Pomegranate, Pear, Pecan, & Brie Salad with Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette is loaded with vibrant colors and flavors and contrasting textures. It makes any dinner special but would be perfect as a Thanksgiving salad or on your Christmas holiday table.
16ouncessalad greenssuch as spring mix, with or without baby spinach
8ouncesBriethinly sliced and cut into 1-inch pieces
Seeds from 1 large pomegranate
1 ½cupspecan halvestoasted
To prepare Balsamic Vinaigrette, measure all of the ingredients into a mason jar. Tightly screw on the lid and shake vigorously until everything is thoroughly combined. Alternatively, you may briskly whisk the ingredients together in a medium bowl, or blend them in a blender or mini food processor.
Immediately after cutting the pear slices, place them in a large plastic baggie and squeeze fresh lemon juice over them. Close bag and gently shake to coat. In a large salad bowl, layer salad greens, pear slices, pieces of Brie, pomegranate seeds, and toasted pecans. Just before serving, dress with desired amount of Balsamic Vinaigrette and toss until salad ingredients are evenly coated.
If you use a really good balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon honey should be sufficient. However, you can always add a bit more honey, to taste, if you wish.
I've made this dressing before when I was out of fresh garlic (oh, the horror!), but I substituted ½ teaspoon garlic powder and it still turned out great.
To toast the pecans, preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the pecans on sheet pan and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until fragrant and lightly toasted, watching carefully to prevent burning. Allow to cool before adding to the salad.
You may use your favorite variety of pears in place of D'Anjous...just make sure that the pears you choose aren't overly soft or ripe.
For the least messy experience, I prefer to seed a pomegranate underwater. Fill a large bowl with cool water and slice the pomegranate in half. Take one half of the pomegranate and, holding it underwater, break it into large pieces and pop out the seeds, allowing them to fall to the bottom of the bowl. When you are done extracting all of the seeds and discarding the pomegranate peel, most of the pieces of membrane will be floating in the water as the seeds will have sunk. Pour as much water and membrane out of the bowl as possible, without losing any seeds. Pour the seeds and remaining water into a colander and pick out any remaining membrane. Repeat with the other half of the pomegranate. (And if this explanation didn't make sense, Google a YouTube video demonstrating this technique...it's much easier than it sounds!)
This recipe can easily be cut in half in the event that you're not feeding a small army.