Roasted Pear and Arugula Salad with Pomegranate-Chipotle Vinaigrette
Pomegranates, an old fruit with a new following, appear in the market starting in November. Older varieties are ruby-red, sour-tart, and full of flavor. Pomegranate juice—an antioxidant par excellence—is readily available year round and serves as the base for the vinaigrette, but do add some fresh pomegranate seeds to the salad if they are available. The small amount of chipotle in the dressing is not hot, but it gives a hint of smokiness that is wonderful with the sweet pear.
- 6 small pears
- 1 tablespoon agave syrup
- 4 cups baby arugula, stemmed and washed
- 2 cups mixed baby lettuces, with some red color, stemmed and washed
- Pomegranate seeds (optional)
- 1 small clove garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 medium shallot, peeled and minced
- ¾ cup strong, unsweetened pomegranate juice
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- Pinch of ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon ground dried chipotle or chipotle in adobo, or more to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Core the pears from the bottom, using a small spoon or melon baller. You may peel them or not, but leave the stem intact. Brush the pears with the agave syrup and roast on a baking sheet until browned and tender, 30 to 45 minutes depending on the size and ripeness of the pears.
3. Whisk all the vinaigrette ingredients together or puree in a blender.
4. To serve, combine the baby arugula and lettuces with the dressing and divide among 6 chilled plates. Set a pear on each plate and scatter some pomegranate seeds on the greens, if desired. Pass the extra dressing separately.
※ Add crumbled feta or blue cheese and Caramelized Walnuts.
※ Substitute small apples for the pears.