Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Tomato Mozzarella Salad with Pomegranate Seeds #recipe

From Daryl aka Avery:

And the winner of last week's giveaway is…

Kate!  KaroS... at yahoo dot com.  I'll be sending you an email to let you know. Congrats!  And thanks for pinning on Pinterest.

 Lately, I've been getting into cheesy dishes again (big surprise) as I approach the release of my next Cheese Shop Mystery (coming February: DAYS OF WINE AND ROQUEFORT).

Here's a beautiful salad to put on your holiday menu. I know, salad? Really? When it's the prime of cookie and candy season?

But this one, as a full salad or as a side, is so perfect for the holidays. Sweet, savory, fun! And colorful!!!

I had something like it at one of my favorite restaurants in Los Angeles, Mistral (in Sherman Oaks). It's a quaint French bistro and does a fabulous job with everything on the menu. The salad was a simple twist on an old classic, tomato and mozzarella salad. But the restaurant added pomegranate seeds. Oh, divine. The pop of the pomegranate. The sweetness with the saltiness of the cheese.

Now a pomegranate…I was scared to get into this fruit. I've avoided since I was a kid when the first and only time I tried to pop pomegranate seeds from the fruit, I ended up with stained fingers. For days!!  I had no clue how to do it, and neither did my mother or friends.

But now, with the advent of YouTube, you can find out how to do pretty much anything. I'd seen one video where you submersed the pomegranate in water and popped out the seeds, but I searched further and found one where you pound the darned seeds out. That's right. Pound them out.

You take a common kitchen wooden spoon, a salad bowl, score the pomegranate, peel the two halves apart...

...and then holding the pomegranate, seed side down toward the bowl, spank the back of it with the wooden spoon. Out they pop. No kidding.

It's so easy I'll probably have pomegranate seeds every week from this point forward. I love them and they add so much texture.


Ingredients for the salad:

(serves 4-6)

Assorted lettuce
2 thick slices of tomato per person
2 slices of soft fresh Mozzarella cheese per person
1 pomegranate, deseeded as per above (enough seeds for 6 salads)


(makes 1 cup)


1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar or brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup olive oil

Whisk all ingredients together. Whatever you don’t use, refrigerate.

Arrange the salad by setting lettuce on the plate. Layer the tomatoes and cheese. Drizzle with balsamic dressing. Adorn with 2-3 tablespoons of pomegranate seeds.

BTW, I'm thinking about a Christmas cookie using pomegranate seeds.  Suggestions? :)

LAST BUT NOT LEAST, Krista Davis, Lucy Burdette, Julie Hyzy and I are having a contest on Facebook. It's fun with lots of ways to win. We're giving away a fabulous gift basket from Salt and Pepper books (you know, the store that inspired the Cookbook Nook mysteries) as well as our books. And we might even sweeten the deal in weeks to come. Runs to the middle of December. So check it out. Click on the picture for the link!


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Next up: 
Days of Wine and Roquefort Feb 2014, preorder here
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  1. What a beautiful salad! I too have always avoided pomegranates, but for a slightly more unusual reason. The first and only time I ever had the seeds, I was very young and had a split and swollen bottom lip (long story involving my sister and a hairbrush). All I can remember is how painful it was to eat those seeds. Although pretty much anything I would have eaten with that fat lip would have hurt, to this day I associate pomegranate seeds with pain! However, our local Publix sells pomegranate seeds already removed from the fruit, so I may just have to give them another chance. Your salad would be the perfect opportunity.

    1. Cee, I'm so sorry about the hairbrush incident. Sisters! Sheesh. But do try these again. I know what you mean re: associating a food with pain. Not fun. But do try again. :)

      Daryl / Avery

    2. Cee, funny because my husband's sister also had an incident involving a hairbrush, and a split lip--no pomegranates though:).

      Daryl, wish I'd seen this method before emptying seeds from 3 of these by digging them out last winter:)

    3. Lucy, I know. It's amazing once you learn the trick! My new favorite fruit. :)


  2. What a bit of artistry! Thanks for the inspiration and the simple solution of pomegranates.

    1. Aw, Libby, thanks. Artistry? I'll thank the restaurant for the inspiration. :)

      Daryl / Avery

  3. Interesting and colorful salad. I guess pomegranates aren't just for Pom fruit drinks anymore. Now I'm thinking mozzarrella and pomegranates might be the perfect pairing.

    ~ Cleo

    1. I've never had a Pom drink, but no. I much prefer the crunch and bite of the fresh fruit.

      Hugs Daryl / Avery

  4. Thank you so much for a solution to stained fingers. I love pomegranates. I've been known to eat them plain as snacks. But they always stain my fingers. This is fabulous! They really dress up the salad. Lovely for a holiday luncheon or dinner.