When I was in middle school, our faculty would pass out pomegranates to the students during the fall. Kids being kids, instead of eating the fruit, they would smash them on the floor, walls, and ceilings to create one giant mess. Needless to say, the faculty soon stopped giving out free fruit. Now as an adult, I wish someone would give me free fruit every month. What a treat that would be! Kids really don’t appreciate the little things. Anyways, I decided to highlight the wonderful pomegranate today in a Honeycrisp apple pomegranate salad finished with goat cheese croutons, smoky pepitas, roasted sweet potatoes, and honey pomegranate vinaigrette. If this isn’t one salad that doesn’t scream fall, I don’t know what is!honeycrisp apple pomegranate saladhoneycrisp apple pomegranate salad

Serves 2-3

1400

Honeycrisp Apple Pomegranate Salad

45 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

    Roasted sweet potato
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • salt and pepper
  • Smoky pepitas
  • ½ cup pepitas
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Honey pomegranate dressing
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • ½ cup pomegranate arils
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Goat cheese croutons
  • ½ cup panko
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 8 ounce goat cheese, at room temperature
  • Remaining ingredients
  • 2 honey crisp apples, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup pomegranate arils
  • 4 cups mesclun greens

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Toss the cubed peeled sweet potato with 1 tbsp oil, 1 tsp cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until cooked. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Reduce oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Toss ½ cup pepitas with ½ tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp chili powder, 1 tbsp oil, and 1 tbsp honey. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 7-10 minutes or until toasted and lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
  5. Meanwhile, make the salad dressing. Blend together 2 tbsp honey with 1 tsp dijon mustard, ½ cup pomegranate arils, and ¼ cup balsamic vinegar. Slowly drizzle ½ cup olive oil while the blender is on until fully incorporated. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Prepare the goat cheese croutons. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a non-stick saute pan over medium heat. Add ½ cup panko with 2 tsp lemon zest, 1 tsp dried parsley, and 1 tsp garlic powder. Stir constantly to evenly brown the breadcrumbs. Remove from heat once the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Let cool slightly.
  7. Cut the goat cheese into bite-size chunks. Coat the goat cheese in the lemon breadcrumbs, making sure to cover all sides.
  8. Toss together the mesclun greens with the apples, ½ cup pomegranate arils, roasted sweet potatoes, and vinaigrette. Top with the smoky pepitas and goat cheese croutons. Serve immediately.
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**Helpful tips and common mistakes

I’ve been preparing more and more vegetarian salads and to be honest, I don’t miss the meat. Salads like this honeycrisp apple pomegranate salad that are loaded on ingredients not only taste amazing, they keep you satisfied.

Let’s start by roasting the sweet potatoes. I used an Asian sweet potato but the reddish sweet potatoes are also great for this salad. Peel, cube, and toss the sweet potatoes in oil, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Roast for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and tender. Remove the sweet potatoes and reduce the oven to 350 degrees F.

Next, make the smoky pepitas. Pepitas or pumpkin seeds are a great source of magnesium and just overall great for you. We’re going to season the seeds with cinnamon, chili powder, and honey to give it a nice smoky-sweet flavor and finish them in the oven.smoky pepitasAs much as I love pomegranates, I despise preparing them. I’ve tried all the tricks in the book and the best approach I have is to separate the fruit by its membranes. When you cut into pomegranate, you will find several sections divided by a thin white skin. By working in sections, you can easily take out the seeds. It also helps to keep the fruit in a bowl of cold water while removing the seeds so that they don’t splatter everywhere. My husband ruined one of his shirts trying to help me because the juice squirted everywhere. It’s a dangerous task. pomegranatesNow for the goat cheese croutons. Okay so technically, these are panko-crusted goat cheese nuggets but same difference, right? Make the seasoned breadcrumbs by toasting them in oil with parsley, lemon zest, and garlic powder. Cut the softened goat cheese into bite-size pieces and coat them in the breadcrumbs. Much easier than frying the cheese and the cheese actually keeps its shape.

Blend together the pomegranate dressing and you’re all ready to assemble the honeycrisp apple pomegranate salads. I always switch between salads but this one has been on rotation for quite a while and I haven’t gotten sick of it yet. All in all, delicious!honeycrisp apple pomegranate salad

 

Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.

 

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