Pretty as a picture this colorful, nutrient-packed salad is easy to make and perfect for the holidays.
Do you ever see a food in the grocery store that maybe you haven’t seen or thought of in a very long time and suddenly… you think: I WANT THAT. That’s what happened to me yesterday when, while grocery shopping, I spotted a mountain of juicy pink pomegranates. Immediately I thought to myself, “Yum, Spinach and Pomegranate Salad! But… would Mr. EN eat it? “ Then (lightbulb) I thought to myself “bacon”. Mr. EN will eat anything that has bacon on or in it. In his mind bacon fixes everything.
This Pomegranate Salad with Bacon and Cinnamon-Glazed Pecans is…
- Nutrient packed! You get…
- Plenty of Vitamin A and iron in the spinach
- Loads of vitamin C in the pomegranate seeds
- A good dose of healthy fats in the pecans and in the pomegranate dressing
Also it is…
- Tangy and tart
- Easy to make
What’s extra great about this recipe is that you can cook the bacon and glaze these beautiful pecans (see below) right alongside each other in the oven at the same time! And, you can throw together the tart and tangy dressing while you wait. Easy peasy.
- Getting to the seeds: You tube is loaded with tips on how to get the seeds out of a pomegranate. Here’s my favorite (and it works): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znJgWpk71ZQ Some people de-seed their pomegranates under water, although I’ve not had much luck with that. Here’s an entertaining (and a little bit weird) video that depicts that method: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8s1LiSYqLl8
- If you like your dressing a little less tart, leave out the lemon juice or cut back on the vinegar a bit. The seeds can be extra tart depending on how ripe the pomegranate is. Taste and add a little more honey if you need to.
- Be patient with the nuts. Don’t rush them. They will look “done” at 45 minutes but they are not. If you want them crispy wait the entire 60 minutes (tossing every 15 minutes).
- If you want to make it vegetarian or vegan, leave out the bacon and cheese and add in some dried fruit such as cranberries or chopped dates for texture.
Have you been thinking about pomegranates too? What are you making for the holidays this year? It’s time you give this festive fall salad a try. You won’t regret it.
Peace, love and good eats, from our Empty Nest to Yours.
Trending in the Empty Nest Kitchen: Chosen Foods Avocado Oil, purchased at our local Meijer store.
Mr. ENs take on this recipe: “The bacon makes it. I ate the whole thing.” 😉
Spinach, Bacon and Pomegranate Salad with Glazed Pecans
Yield 2 servings
- CANDIED PECAN RECIPE (SEE BELOW)
- 1 cup pecans
- ½ of 1 egg white
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- CREAMY POMEGRANATE DRESSING RECIPE (SEE BELOW)
- 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
- ¼ cup avocado oil or light olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
- 1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- pinch of fine sea salt
- SALAD RECIPE SEE BELOW
- 6 slices cooked bacon
- 4 cups fresh spinach
- ¼ red onion, thinly slices
- 3-4 tablespoons crumbed feta or goat cheese
- 3-4 tablespoons pomegranate seeds (or whatever you have leftover from the dressing)
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
- To make the nuts: In a small bowl whisk ½ of 1 egg white together with the vanilla until foamy. Pour over the pecans and toss until the nuts are coated. In another small bowl mix together the sugar, cinnamon, cardamom and salt. Sprinkle over the coated nuts and toss until nuts are well-coated. Spread coated nuts in a single layer onto a greased cookie sheet. Do not use parchment paper! Grease the pan. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven then cool.
- To cook the bacon: On another cookie sheet, lay out six strips of bacon. Bake the bacon in the oven – with the nuts - until crisp (30-45 minutes), flipping the bacon halfway through the baking time. Place the cooked bacon on paper towel and blot. Crumble when cool.
- Make the dressing: In a blender or small food processor (I made mine in a Nutribullet) combine the pomegranate seeds, oil, honey, lemon juice, vinegar, Dijon mustard and salt. Blend until creamy.
- Spread the spinach leaves onto a serving plate (or make two salads, whichever you prefer). Add sliced red onion, feta or goat cheese, crumbled bacon, and pomegranate seeds. Top with Glazed Pecans.
- The serving for dressing is 2 tablespoons. This recipe makes more than that.