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My wonderful Chicory, Pear and Pomegranate Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette is the best wintertime salad! Sweet pears, tart pomegranate seeds, and crunchy pecans served with tender lettuce and slightly bitter radicchio and a tangy cranberry citrus dressing.
A Holiday or Winter Salad: Chicory, Pear and Pomegranate Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette
Salad might not be the first thing we think of when the temperatures drop. But fresh green salad with a variety of flavors is a perfect accompaniment to heavier winter dishes like roasted pork, a holiday turkey, or prime rib.
This Chicory, Pear, and Pomegranate Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette is colorful, flavorful, and festive enough for holiday dinner.
I served this salad at Thanksgiving (alongside another fantastic appetizer), and it was a big hit. One of the guests said it was one of the best salads he’d ever had. And although he might have been trying to be kind, he did go back to the bowl more than once.
But you know what I think? This gorgeous salad can make even an ordinary dinner taste festive. There’s just so much deliciousness going on here! And such a variety of flavors.
Tender lettuce, like spring mix or baby romaine, gets brightened up with the pleasantly bitter bite and color radicchio. That bitterness is beautifully balanced with the taste of sweetly mellow pears and a sprinkle of sweet-tart pomegranate. Gorgeous!
Top it all off with crunchy pecans – either toasted or candied for a little extra sweetness – in a delectable dressing made with fresh orange juice and jellied cranberry sauce. So good!
What Do You Need to Make Chicory, Pear and Pomegranate Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette
- Baby Romaine or Spring Mix – These are my two favorites for this salad, but almost any flavorful lettuce blend should work. Just steer clear of iceberg – too bland.
- Radicchio – In case you were wondering, radicchio is a chicory, which is the name for heartier, slightly bitter, cool-weather lettuces. Endive is a chicory too. If you have some on hand, chop it up and toss it into the bowl for some extra crunch.
- Pear – Any variety will work, make sure they’re slightly soft, which means they’re ripe and sweet.
- Pomegranate arils – Arils is just another word for the red, juicy seeds of the pomegranate. I’ve sometimes bought them ready to go from Trader Joe’s but buying a whole pomegranate and peeling them to remove the arils is very easy.
- Pecans – You can use either regular pecans that have been slightly toasted in the oven or a dry skillet, or candied pecans. The candied variety can be purchased from the grocery store, but you can easily make your own. Here’s a good stovetop recipe from Two Healthy Kitchens.
- For the Vinaigrette – Orange juice (preferably fresh squeezed), Dijon mustard, olive oil, jellied cranberry sauce, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper.
This wonderful winter Chicory, Pear, and Pomegranate Salad really wakes up the taste buds. It’s a salad your friends, family, and guests will truly enjoy. As will you!Print
For the salad:
- 8 cups baby romaine or spring mix
- ½ head of radicchio, cored and chopped
- 1 large pear, peeled, cored, and sliced
- ½ cup pomegranate arils
- ½ cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted or candied
For the vinaigrette:
- ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (juice of one large orange)
- 1.5 T Dijon mustard
- 6 T Olive Oil
- 2 T jellied cranberry sauce
- 2 T Apple cider vinegar
- ½ t salt
- ¼ t pepper
- Place salad greens, radicchio, pomegranate arils, pear slices, and pecans in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Whisk orange juice, mustard, olive oil, cranberry sauce, and apple cider vinegar together in a small bowl. Whisk in salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Dress salad with the desired amount of dressing and serve. (There will likely be more than necessary. Reserve any leftover dressing for another use.)