Prior to the show, the husband and I dined at 'Cesca, and the meal was every bit as spectacular as the concert. Saturday night we met the sister in law and our friend M. at one of my all time favorite restaurants - El Faro - where we dined happily on a number of Spanish classics, paella included. El Faro has been serving up the best paella in the city since 1927 and, honestly, this place is so good, so unique, it deserves a review of its own. I was dining sans camera Saturday night, so the review will have to wait - but it will happen. Stay tuned.
Suffice it to say, by Sunday night I'd had my fill of food and wanted nothing more than a simple salad for dinner. Of course by simple, you know I mean - simply divine. I drew inspiration from two sources. The first: POM Wonderful. Last week, Diana - aka The POM Blogger - got in touch with me and offered a sample of their luscious POM Wonderful pomegranate juice. Needless to say, I accepted the offer with pleasure. I'm already a huge fan of POM and I'm delighted to have the opportunity to explore it more fully as an ingredient. Diana sent me a case of POM Wonderful juice and I promptly put it to work in creating a scrumptious dressing for my salad.
Divalicious POM Wonderful Vinaigrette:
- 1/2 cup POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice
- 2 tsp. red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp. minced shallot
- 1/2 tsp. prepared Dijon mustard
- pinch of salt and a generous grating of fresh black pepper
- 1 tbsp. chopped fresh dill
- scant 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
- some mixed salad greens
- some fresh pomegranate seeds
- 2 or 3 oz. of good quality Gruyere cheese, sliced
- some roasted pumpkin seeds
Lightly dress your salad greens with the finished vinaigrette, to taste, and sprinkle the salad with some pomegranate seeds. (I also added some red bell pepper and celery to the mix.)
Place the sliced Gruyere on a large, microwave-safe plate and heat in the microwave on high for approximately 10 to 20 seconds, or until the cheese melts and just begins to bubble. Watch it carefully and do not over cook. Remove from oven, sprinkle the cheese with some roasted pumpkin seeds and a few pomegranate arils (seeds). Place the dressed salad on the plate, garnish with a slice of hearty, whole-grain bread and enjoy!
As written, this salad will serve one, but you will have plenty of yummy dressing left to enjoy. I'm not a fan of oily dressing, so the ratio here is light on the EVOO. Feel free to increase if that's your pleasure.
I wish I could take credit for the marvelous addition of melted cheese to the plate. That idea came straight from The Wine and Food Lover's Diet Cookbook - and frankly, its brilliant! I mean, who doesn't love melted cheese?! The zippy POM vinaigrette was the perfect foil for the warm, creamy cheese and the pumpkin seeds really upped the flavor ante as well. I rounded out the meal with a slice of nutty brown bread - another version of Irish soda bread - and I'll tell you all about it ... tomorrow. Stay tuned.
I'm thoroughly delighted with my first foray into cooking with POM and looking forward to further explorations. This salad was just what the doctor ordered - and it only goes to show that simple and elegant sometimes mean the same thing.