Pomegranate seeds are the sweet taste of winter on it's way. They're a little burst of tart juice, a spot of brightness in the otherwise dreary winter season. Pomegranates were the hallmark of the winter season at my dad house -- the minute I came home to pomegranates, I knew that the holidays weren't far off. We always just ate them plain, straight out of the rind, while sitting on the porch (the deep red juice was too dangerous to mess with inside). This was before you could buy pomegranates pre-deseeded, and it was sweeter that way: every little gem had to be worked for.
I still buy my pomegranates whole, and I still think they taste better when you do the deseeding for yourself. Most of the time, I still eat them plain, too. When I do add them to dishes, they're simple, like this salad.
I have been sooooo ready for salads this week-- hearty, nourishing, big bowl salads. Maybe it to counteract the pie? All I know is that I can't get enough brightly colored produce in my life right now. And let me tell you, the pomegranate seeds make this salad taste like a big holiday treat to me! (Not to mention the delicata squash, which is also pretty high on my end-of-fall list of favorites).
Do you know what else would be so so good with this salad? Goat cheese. Or hazelnuts, take your pick, because both would be amazing. Heck, throw in both. The additional of both would take this salad from "side dish" status to "complete lunch" status. And the contrast between the creamy goat cheese and those tart pomegranate seeds? Now that's where it's at. And if you choose to go the hazelnut route, you won't regret it -- toasted hazelnuts pretty much echo the wintery feeling that the rest of this salad is singing about.
- 1 bunch red kale
- 2 tablespoons minced red onion
- 1 delicata squash
- 1/4 cup pomegranate perils
- Juice from 1/2 orange
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, for dressing
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil, for roasting squash
- Salt & Pepper
- Optional: goat cheese crumbles or toasted hazelnuts
- Preheat over to 450°F. Slice the delicata squash in half, and remove the seeds. Cut into wedges, and toss in avocado oil. Spread out on baking pan, and season with salt & pepper. Bake for 20-25 minutes until squash is cooked through and golden. Once cooked, set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, massage the kale: remove the stems from the kale, and set aside. Place the leafy bits in a salad bowl, and squeeze orange juice over the leaves. Sprinkle with salt. Using your hands, massage the kale until it begins to soften. Drizzle with olive oil.
- Top with red onion, pomegranate perils, and cooker delicata squash. Optional: add hazelnuts or cheese. Serve.