When I decided to make a five-course meal, it seemed fitting to make a salad following the soup course. In my latest issue of Vegetarian Times, there was a poached pear salad featured in the Thanksgiving menu section. In order to make it pomtastic, I used a combination of red wine and pomegranate juice in the poaching liquid. I'm also a huge fan of pairing pears with nuts and gorgonzola. To finish the salad, I candied some pecans and sprinkled airls on top for crunch. I love creamy, vinegar based salad dressings, so I used a pomegranate reduction combined with yogurt.
This salad may look complicated, but you can peel and core the pears ahead of time and then poach them right before serving the salad so it doesn't interrupt the flow of the meal. The dressing will separate because of the yogurt, but just give it a shake or whisk before serving and it will come back together.
Pomegranate-Red Wine Poached Pear Salad
with Creamy Pom-Yogurt Vinaigrette
4 pears, peeled and cored
2 cups POM Wonderful 100% Pure Pomegranate Juice
4 cups dry red wine (I used a Cabernet Sauvignon)
8 cups mixed baby greens
1/2 c. pomegranate arils
1/2 c. crumbled gorgonzola
1/2 c. candied pecans
1 c. POM Wonderful 100% pure pomegranate juice
1/2 c. aged balsamic vinegar
1/2 c. plain greek yogurt
1/4-1/2 c. EVOO
1-2 tbsp. honey
Kosher salt and white pepper
Place pears in a deep soup pot, pour in pom wonderful and red wine.
Place over high heat, bring to a boil and turn heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Arrange greens on a serving plate, sprinkle with cheese, arils and nuts.
Remove pears from poaching liquid, place on a cutting board, slice in half.
Make several slices into each half, angled toward the stem, never cutting completely off.
Fan pears out on salad platter, top with vinaigrette.
In a small stock pot, bring pom juice and vinegar to a boil, simmer and reduce to 1/2 c. of liquid remains.
Whisk together cooled vinegar mixture with yogurt, honey, salt and pepper.
Slowly add in 1/4 c. EVOO while whisking.
Taste, adjust seasonings, add more olive oil if necessary.
Serve with salad immediately.