LUCY BURDETTE: I'd eaten a Pomegranate, Olive & Walnut Salad once at my sister's house and I thought a version of it would be perfect for the holidays. It has that red and green color scheme in spades.
Pomegranates are hot weather fruits that come as large reddish spheres. Once you cut the tops off and slice them in half, the little seeds (resembling red corn kernels) are visible. I'd never made anything with this fruit before so the process was interesting. I ended up scraping the seeds out with (well-washed) fingers. You don't want to get the pulp in your salad, as it has a bitter taste like a grapefruit rind. On the plus side, this fruit is full of antioxidants and vitamin C and has a lovely sweet taste. Be careful about what you're wearing as the red juice splashes out everywhere while you scrape seeds.
Because I had one lime left on our little tree that needed a special home, I made the vinaigrette with lime juice and good quality olive oil. (This is Tonka, watching me harvest the lime.) Taste it to see what you think you need--I added about 1/2 tsp of salt and the same amount of sugar. I think you could also do fine with balsamic vinegar and maybe a tsp of grainy mustard instead of the lime.
The whole salad is INTENSE with a lot of strong flavors, so I chose to serve it on a bed of mesclun greens. The mixture I found had a lot of pea shoots in it, which were lovely.
Ingredients (serves 10 to 12)
1 cup pitted green olives, coarsely chopped (I used stuffed green)
1 bunch cilantro, cleaned and chopped
2-3 scallions, cleaned, chopped (white and pale green parts)
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
4 tsp lime juice
3 T olive oil
Sea salt to taste
1/2 tsp sugar
5 oz Mesclun or other nice greens
Cut off top of the pomegranates, cut in half, and pull apart. Remove seeds and discard skin. Place seeds in a bowl and add olives, cilantro, shallots and walnuts.
Whisk together remaining ingredients to create dressing, Pour dressing over salad, toss and serve on a bed of baby lettuce.
Now back to Christmas shopping...don't forget that culinary mysteries are the perfect size for stocking stuffers:)...
You can learn more about Lucy Burdette and her Key West food critic mysteries at her website or on Facebook or Twitter.