This winter chopped salad with endive, pears, and pomegranate is fast, easy, and fresh. It’s a delectable combination of sweet and bitter greens and winter fruits, and one of my favorite two-for-one seasonal recipes. As is, it’s a gorgeous centerpiece for a holiday meal or dinner party. Or serve it with simple seared steak for a fast and nutritious weeknight dinner.
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Y’all, I have a cold. And not just any cold, but the mother of all toxic strains – a daycare cold. <<shudder>> I suppose I can never again mock my husband when he feels miserable with a cold, because I am a whiny, blubbering, sinus-achey mess and I feel all of the terrible. It’s awful.
When I’m sick I crave salads. What? Don’t you? Just me? Welp…that’s a bit awkward.
Anyway…I think it’s the vinegar. A stuffy nose is a crappy companion for someone who eats for a living, and vinegar just cuts right through that nonsense (at least for a minute or two). Plus there’s, ya know, healthy stuff in salads, and I suppose my body is giving me a hint – or a shove off a cliff. Nutrients! Now!
This bitter and sweet winter chopped salad started out as a riff on my endive appetizer cups, and then evolved into it’s very own delightful dinner situation. Layered with seasonal flavors and hues, it will be making another appearance on my Christmas menu in just about a week. Double duty deliciousness. I can live with that!
Bittersweet Winter Chopped Salad Recipe Notes
As it’s name might imply, this winter chopped salad is a refreshing combination of sweet and bitter lettuces tossed with winter fruits, a touch of gorgonzola, and a sweet and tart pomegranate poppy dressing. It’s beautiful salad recipe that comes together quickly, and is perfect as a side dish or served with seared steak for an easy seasonal dinner.
Start by tossing together a salad base of bitter and sweet greens.
- Bitter Greens. Cool weather friends endive and radicchio bring beauty, crunch, and a bitter edge.
- Sweet Greens. Any soft and sweet baby green will work for this salad, and even some mature ones too (I’m lookin’ at you romaine). I used baby butter lettuce, but you can also reach for baby or mature romaine, baby spinach, sweet gem, or a mix of your preference.
Spread the tossed salad greens onto a platter, then top with crumbled gorgonzola cheese, pomegranate seeds, and sliced pears. Use any pear of your preference. The red and green anjous were looking particularly ripe and juicy, so I sliced up one of each.
The dressing is a somewhat fancy, but so super easy, pomegranate poppy vinaigrette. You’ll need pomegranate molasses (or reduced pomegranate juice) to prepare it, and it’s worth seeking out and/or making. To make it from scratch, simply simmer a cup of pomegranate juice in a small sauce pot until it’s thick and syrupy, and reduced down to 2 tablespoons. Whisk the pomegranate syrup with toasted poppy seeds, white wine vinegar, a touch of honey, olive oil and salt – and voila.
Serve this as-is with dressing on the side for a show-stopping seasonal salad course.
Make-it-a-Meal for $500 Alex
I’m all over recipes that pull double duty, and this salad is a winter flexitarian workhorse. Add seared steak for nutritious, quick and easy weeknight dinner that you’ll be able to whip up in under 30 minutes (even if you’re sniffly and miserable with a daycare plague!).
Dietary Accommodations and Variations
- Naturally vegetarian and gluten free
- Leave out the cheese and this salad is vegan and paleo (vegan friends, use maple syrup in the dressing instead of honey)
- Serve with steak, this is a low carb dinner recipe with just 14g net carbs
- Use any pear of your preference – I like a slightly underripe pear that slices up crisply
- Use any sweet baby lettuces that you like – butter, romaine, spinach – or chopped mature romaine or bibb lettuce
More Cool Weather Salad Recipes
- Arugula Pear Salad with Pistachios and Pomegranate
- Autumn Crunch Butter Lettuce Salad
- Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad with Hazelnut Vinaigrette
- Radish Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
- Citrus Kale Salad with Avocado and Jicama
DID YOU MAKE THIS WINTER CHOPPED SALAD? I WANT TO SEE YOUR CREATIONS! SNAP A PICTURE AND SHARE IT HERE ON PINTEREST.
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Winter Chopped Salad with Endive, Pears, and PomegranatePrint Recipe Rate This Recipe
- 1/2 lb endive chopped
- 1/2 lb radicchio quartered, cored, and chopped
- 4 oz baby butter lettuce
- 4 oz gorgonzola crumbled
- 1 c pomegranate seeds
- 2 pears cored, thinly sliced
- Make the vinaigrette. Heat a small 8" skillet over medium high heat. Add the poppy seeds to the skillet and toast, stirring continuously, until the poppy seeds are fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer the seeds to a jar and allow to cool. Add the pomegranate molasses, vinegar, honey, olive oil, and salt and whisk vigorously until emulsified.
- Prepare the endive and radicchio. Trim the root end from the endive, then peel and remove any bruised or discolored outer layers. Chop the endive into 1" rounds. Remove the outer layer of the radicchio, then slice into quarters. Lay each quarter on its side and remove the core. Chop each radicchio quarter into 1" pieces.
- Toss the chopped endive, chopped radicchio, and butter lettuce, then spread onto a large platter. Top the chopped lettuces with crumbled gorgonzola cheese and pomegranate seeds, then spread the pears atop the salad in clusters. Drizzle lightly with vinaigrette and serve immediately, with additional vinaigrette on the side.
- To serve as a weeknight meal, halve the salad and dressing portions to serve four. Dive the salad between four plates, then top each salad with 4-oz seared skirt steak. Drizzle with dressing and serve immediately.
- Pomegranate molasses can be purchased at speciality stores such as Whole Foods and Mom's Organic Market, and at most middle eastern grocers.
- To make your own, or ensure the recipe stays paleo and sugar free, simmer 1 cup pomegranate juice over medium high heat in a small sauce pot until reduced to 2 tablespoons. Cool to room temperature before using.