This piece first appeared on Juggling With Julia. See the author’s bio and contact info below the post.
Happy holidays, friends!
Been busy wrapping, baking, shopping, and cooking? Same here. And drinking more iced coffee than is recommended by 4 out of 5 sleepologists.
It was quite a productive week in the kitchen. I baked oodles of cookies (with help from my elves – Grumpy, Sneezy, and Sporty), and I even made a real dinner THREE DAYS IN A ROW! That’s a Christmas miracle right there.
The crowned jewel of the week, though, was this absolutely gorgeous kale quinoa pomegranate salad. After being inspired by something similar at a restaurant last month, I knew I had to re-create it at home. We (big, huge congratulatory emphasis on WE) have made this twice this week and it’s been a huge hit.
What constitutes a huge hit in this house? Absolutely anytime my most finicky youngest eats bite after bite of a veggie packed dish – that’s what.
It turns out pomegranate seeds (aka arils) are the key. I wish I could show you a video of her and her brother fighting over the bowlful of arils while I chopped the veggies. The slightly sweet balsamic dressing didn’t hurt either – she is crazy about this Cinnamon Pear Balsamic Aged Vinegar, Made In Italy.
I think my most favorite thing about this salad, though, is that it stands up to the dressing even the next day. While I can barely choke down leftover Caesar with its soggy, limp romaine, the baby kale here can handle the dressing no problem.
Leftover kale, quinoa, and pomegranate salad? Yes, please, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner – just for today. I’m exhausted from all this excitement.
KALE QUINOA POMEGRANATE SALAD
Cook time: 12 minutes Prep/Assemble time: 10 minutes
For the Salad:
1/2 cup quinoa (like Bob’s Red Mill)
1 cup water
4 cups baby kale, roughly chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 orange bell pepper, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup pomegranate arils
1/4 cup crushed roasted almonds, if desired (not pictured)
For the Balsamic Dressing:
1/4 c olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar ( I used a cinnamon-pear flavored balsamic)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
In a small saucepan, bring the water and a dash of salt to a boil. Add the quinoa, stir, and cover. Lower heat to a simmer, cooking until all the water is absorbed – about 12 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Spread out on a plate so it can cook quickly. (You don’t want to put hot quinoa on this salad – it will steam the kale!)
In a salad bowl, toss the kale, celery, parsley and quinoa together. Gently fold in most of the pomegranate arils. along with the dressing. Sprinkle a few pomegranate arils on top to garnish, as well as the almonds, if desired.
Your kale quinoa pomegranate salad will keep in a covered refrigerated container for 3-4 days.