Healthy Cooking Thursday: Pomegranate Vinaigrette

By Chef Lisa on 04/29/2010
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Sexy Pomegranate Seeds

Pomegranates are an ancient superfood that have generated a lot of buzz in recent years due to their high concentration of antioxidants, but they have long been used in Ayurvedic treatments and in many other medical applications, including everything from treating cataracts to preventing hemorrhoids, erectile dysfunction, and cancer.  Some argue that the pomegranate was the original Tree of Life in Eden;  the goddess Persephone of Greek mythology was tricked to stay in Hades due to the temptations of a sultry pomegranate.  Between its beauty, amazing tangy-sweet flavor, and rumored and/or scientifically proven health benefits, the pomegranate has a lot to offer.  But boy, it can certainly be an exercise in mindfulness to harvest the yummy seeds out of one of these suckers.

So for the modern enthusiast of nutritious food, I offer this recipe for a pomegranate vinaigrette.  Pomegranate juice is readily available in many supermarkets, usually in the refrigerated produce section, and is a great way to enjoy the benefits of this wonderful, mythical fruit without all the time-consuming work.  I recommend using this dressing on bitter greens, such as in a salad of arugula and baby spinach, maybe with some dried cranberries or mandarin orange segments and crumbled blue cheese or feta.  Mmmm…

Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Combine in a blender:

1/2 cup pomegranate juice

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar (white wine vinegar or raspberry vinegar would work well too)

1 T dry mustard

pinch of salt

When well blended, add:

2/3 cup canola oil

Blend again until emulsified.  Stir in by hand:

1/3 tsp dried tarragon (optional)

freshly ground black pepper to taste

I’ll soon be trying out this dressing as a marinade for grilled pork tenderloin; pork and tangy fruit were made to be together!  What are your favorite pairings for the delicious flavor of pomegranate?

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