Mandarin Pomegranate Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

 

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Hi all–  A couple weeks ago we had friends in for a wintery night dinner.  There was honey crusted pork loin, wild rice and Brussel spouts– and this bright sweet salad to start us off.

The real hit of the evening was after dinner, when our friend Mark pulled out his little bag of tricks and did an amazing magic show!  How did the nine of hearts jump from that stack of cards to the other?? Or the coin go right through the table??  You had us totally mystified Mark.

MANDARIN POMEGRANATE SALAD WITH POPPY SEED DRESSING

Salad:
4 cups of your favorite greens*
3 mandarin oranges
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
1 avocado, cut to neat chunks
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Dressing:
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tab. orange vinegar**
2 tab. honey
1 tab. poppy seeds
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Peel and break the mandarin oranges into neat segments.  Then layer the greens, mandarin segements, pomegranate seeds, avocado and almonds onto a pretty platter.

In a container with a tight fitting lid, shake together the oil, vinegar, honey, poppy seeds. salt & pepper until they are thoroughly blended.  Pour over the salad when you are ready to serve it up.

*I used baby arugula– spinach, green leaf lettuce, bib lettuce are all great.
** Love love Trader Joe’s Orange Champagne Vinegar, but red wine vinegar or tarragon vinegar would be terrific too.

 

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Roasted Sweet Potato, Avocado & Faro Salad

IMG_3512Hi all– Saturday night we had magical evening with friends– literally magical.  Our buddy Mark did an hour of amazing slight of hand tricks after dinner around our table.
I kept thinking, “If I watch just a little closer, I’ll figure out how he does it.”  But no.  We were all totally mystified.

And besides that, we had a sweet time talking around the table– with this salad to start us out, coq au vin, mixed rice, shaved Brussel sprouts and bread ( I love good bread!).  Oh and to end the evening ice cream puffs.  Everyone stayed late.  It was a fine time.

ROASTED SWEET POTATO, AVOCADO Y FARO SALAD
1 sweet potato
2 tab. olive oil
salt & freshly ground pepper
Red leaf lettuce
1 avocado
1/2 cup faro
1/2 cup Pomegranate seeds

Dressing:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup orange muscat vinegar*
(or your favorite flavored vinegar)
1 tab honey
salt & pepper to taste

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Peel the sweet potato and cut it into small chunks.  Mix the little chunks with the olive oil, salt and pepper.  Spread them all out on a baking sheet, separating them as best you can.  Bake them in the oven at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are tender and just starting to brown around the edges.  Let them cool.

While it’s cooking shake all the dressing ingredients in a container with a tight fitting lid until they are thoroughly blended.

Cook the faro in water according to the instructions on the package– (mine boiled just 10 minutes)  until it’s tender.  Cool.

On a pretty plate, layer the lettuce, avocado, faro and pomegranate.  Give the the dressing a little more shaking and dribble it over the salad when you’re ready to serve it.

*Orange Muscat Vinegar from Trader Joes– citrus, sweet, delicious