Winter Green Salad with Citrus Clove Dressing and Pomegranate Arils

Kindi Lantz December 26, 2019

Winter Greens with Pomegranates, Candied Nuts, and Fontina Tossed in Creamy Orange & Clove Dressing

During the holidays, I enjoy the festive salads as much, if not more than the sweets. That certainly doesn’t stop me from indulging in sugary delights, though. So when the final holiday party has ended and I no longer have neighbors dropping by with cookies and handmade candies and I’ve had enough of the sweet treats, I crave fresh salads. That doesn’t mean I want to omit the candied nuts and sweet and tangy fruits, though. That might just lead to sugar withdrawals. 

My favorite winter salads typically contain a combination of ingredients, but always flavors building on each other, with something tangy, something sweet, something with a bit of spiciness, something salty, something crunchy, and loads of fresh greens. In this case, pomegranate arils contribute the tanginess, the nuts add the sweetness, spiciness, and crunch, the cheese is salty, and the dressing rounds it out, with the cloves bestowing a surprising element of warmth and astringent intensity that works beautifully with the dish!

This dressing is not only lovely on a salad but also wonderful on fish and chicken. Slathered it atop of a whitefish like a halibut or cod and bake for a refreshing, sweet, and citrusy crust. 


Note: you can buy candied nuts but I like to make my own. Just melt butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and a pinch of both salt and chili powder together and toss the nuts in it. Bake in a single layer until they are hard but the sugar isn’t burnt (about 10 minutes at 350℉). 

How to Make Citrus Clove Dressing for a Festive Winter Salad

Ingredients

For the dressing

Yields approximately 1 - 1 ½ cups

  • 10 cloves, pulverized
  • 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ginger root paste
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ¼ teaspoon orange zest
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ to 1 cup olive oil

  • For the salad

    • Salad Greens
    • Shaved fontina 
    • Pomegranate arils
    • Candied nuts like pecans or walnuts, chopped
    • Red onion, sliced thinly
    • Sea salt
    • Black pepper

    Procedure

    For the dressing

    1. Use a food processor to mix together the ground cloves, orange juice, mustard, ginger, garlic, maple syrup, egg yolks, orange zest, salt, and pepper. 
    2. Once the ingredients are thoroughly combined, slowly drizzle the olive oil into the mixture to emulsify, starting with a half cup and adding more until you reach your desired consistency. I can not stress the slow drizzle enough. If you add the oil too fast, your dressing won’t thicken and will separate when standing. 

    For the salad

  • Add the salad greens, candied nuts, pomegranate seeds, red onion, and fontina to a large mixing bowl.
  • Pour your desired amount of dressing atop the salad, sprinkle with salt and fresh cracked pepper, and toss. 
  • Top with additional shaved fontina, nuts, and pomegranate arils. 

  • Serving Suggestion

    Serve immediately. This salad is nice served family-style, in a large salad bowl, or prior to the main meal in individual salad bowls or plates. 


    Buy high-quality, fragrant, and pungent whole cloves for your dressing, here!





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