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Winter Salad with Roasted Squash & Pomegranate Vinaigrette
“In a combination of gorgeous colors, textures and tastes, this salad stars radicchio, frisee, pomegranate seeds and walnuts. It's an elegant addition to your holiday menus. Sprinkle with Gorgonzola or another creamy blue cheese for an added burst of flavor and richness. ”
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses (see Note)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or finely chopped tarragon
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons water
Squash & Salad
1½-2 pounds winter squash, such as butternut or buttercup, peeled, seeded and cut into ½-inch pieces
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
6 cups torn radicchio
6 cups torn frisée or curly endive
½ cup pomegranate seeds (see Tips)
⅓ cup pistachios or walnuts, toasted (see Tips) and coarsely chopped
1Preheat oven to 375°F.
2To prepare vinaigrette: Mix shallot, pomegranate molasses, vinegar, lemon juice, thyme (or tarragon) and salt in a small bowl. Whisk in ¼ cup oil, then water.
3To prepare squash: Place squash on a baking sheet, drizzle with 2 teaspoons oil and toss to coat. Spread in a single layer and sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper. Roast, stirring once or twice, until fork-tender, 15 to 25 minutes (depending on the type of squash). Let cool.
4To prepare salad: Place frisee (or endive), radicchio and the squash in a large bowl. Add the vinaigrette and gently toss to coat. Divide the salad among 6 plates and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and pistachios (or walnuts).
Make Ahead Tip: Refrigerate the vinaigrette (Step 2) for up to 1 day.
Note: Pomegranate molasses has a bright, tangy flavor. (Don't confuse it with grenadine syrup, which contains little or no pomegranate juice.) Find it in Middle Eastern markets and some large supermarkets near the vinegar or molasses. To make your own: Simmer 4 cups pomegranate juice, uncovered, in a medium nonreactive saucepan over medium heat until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 45 to 50 minutes. (Do not let the syrup reduce too much or it will darken and become very sticky.) Makes about ½ cup. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Tips: To seed a pomegranate, fill a large bowl with water. Lightly score the fruit into quarters from crown to stem end, cutting through the skin but not into the interior of the fruit. Hold the fruit under water, break it apart and use your hands to gently separate the plump seeds (arils) from the outer skin and white pith. The seeds will drop to the bottom of the bowl and the pith will float to the surface. Discard the pith. Pour the seeds into a colander. Rinse and pat dry. Seeds can be frozen for up to 3 months.
To toast whole nuts, spread on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F, stirring once, until fragrant, 7 to 9 minutes.
Cut Down on Dishes: A rimmed baking sheet is great for everything from roasting to catching accidental drips and spills. For effortless cleanup and to keep your baking sheets in tip-top shape, line them with a layer of foil before each use.