Monday, December 27, 2010

Salad With Grilled Chicken and Pomegranate Vinaigrette Dressing

This salad works best in summer when you have your pick of fresh fruits.  It's still doable in cooler weather, though. I've always been a fan of grilled chicken on a salad - something about the contrast between the cool greens and warm chicken.  The home made pomegranate vinaigrette is the perfect topper.  It's light and healthy with just the right amount of sweetness.  I have to warn you, though, that squeezing your own pomegranate juice is quite the adventure.  A messy one.  If you're not super brave, you might want to go with the store bought kind.

Here's what you need:

Salad greens (I prefer a spring mix, but you can use anything you like.)
Grilled chicken (suggested instructions to follow)
Apples (The best part of making this salad in cooler weather is that Honeycrisp apples are available! They are the best.)
Craisins (Or regular raisins, if you want to be boring about it.)
Sunflower seeds
Chopped walnuts
Lemon juice

Pomegranate juice
Red wine vinegar
Sunflower oil

I marinate boneless, skinless chicken in a 1:1 mixture of orange juice and soy sauce.  Let it sit for 10 - 15 minutes.  I grill the chicken on my George Foreman Grill.  You can also grill outdoors or cook the chicken in a skillet.  I pour a little of the marinade over the chicken before closing the grill just to seal in a little extra flavor.

Chop your apples into bite-sized pieces and put them into a freezer bag with enough lemon juice to coat them but not overpower them.  The juice keeps them from turning brown, but you want your apples to taste like apples and not lemons.

Put your greens on the plate then top with the apples, craisins, walnuts and sunflower seeds.  Add the warm chicken last and top with your homemade dressing.

To make the dressing, combine your pomegranate juice and red wine vinegar.  I'm not big on measuring, but you definitely want more pom than vinegar.  Start small.  You can always add more of any ingredient if you need to.  Add a spoonful or so of honey and some of the oil.  I go easy on the oil with this dressing, using just enough to give it some thickness. The final product should be more juicy than oily.

If you want to go the fresh-squeezed route with your pom juice and have some questions, just let me know.  I'd love to share stories of my own pomegranate adventures.

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