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A Festive and Healthy Salad for your Holiday Table

This beautiful and festive salad holds it's own on your holiday menu, otherwise filled with rich and decadent dishes. Sweet tart pomegranate seeds, salty parmesan, and toasted hazelnuts balance perfectly with bitter greens and crunchy fennel. The vinaigrette can be made a day ahead of serving. If you can't find Persian lime-infused olive oil, try a lemon or orange-infused olive oil. Alternatively, you can use regular extra virgin olive oil and add an extra squeeze of lime juice. 

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Little Gem Salad with Shaved Fennel, Pomegranates and Citrus Shallot Vinaigrette ~ 8 servings  

Ingredients

3-4 cups of arugula

“Little Gem” lettuce leaves from 2-3 young lettuce heads, washed and torn

½ cup of pomegranate seeds

¼ cup hazelnuts, roasted and roughly chopped

½ cup parmesan cheese, shaved

2 small bulbs of fennel, quartered and thinly sliced

1 avocado, thinly sliced and tossed in the juice of 1 lemon

nasturtium flowers to garnish (optional)  

 

Citrus Shallot Vinaigrette with Persian Lime Olive Oil

1 small shallot, finely minced

juice of 1 Meyer lemon (see note if using a traditional lemon)

½  heaping tsp of Dijon mustard

¼  tsp of fresh herbs, finely chopped (thyme, tarragon, parsley)

½ cup Persian lime olive oil

salt & peppers

1 tsp honey (optional)

Method

To make vinaigrette, let shallots marinate in lemon juice for 10 minutes. Whisk in Dijon and herbs to lemon shallot mixture. Continue whisking while slowly adding olive oil until vinaigrette is smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Note: if your vinaigrette is slightly bitter or too tart add optional honey and whisk until fully incorporated. If using a traditional lemon, instead of a meyer lemon, the honey will help to balance acidity.

To make salad, in a large mixing bowl gently toss the arugula, lettuce leaves and shaved fennel with roughly 3 tablespoons of vinaigrette. Season with a little salt and several turns of fresh black pepper. Spread lettuce mixture onto a salad platter and top with pomegranate seeds, hazelnuts, parmesan and avocado. Drizzle with additional vinaigrette as needed and serve immediately.

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Anne ReynoldsComment