Pomegranate, Arugula, Fennel, and Mint Salad with Jamón

26 01 2012

The most perfectly balanced and beautiful winter salad your palate ever did see.

This season brings pomegranate, its translucent seeds sparkling like brilliant magenta ice candy in the chilled air. A bed of slivered fennel offers a subtle anise base, grounding the sweetness in the crunch of white root.

This marks the first time I’ve ever bought jamón straight from the leg – conveniently housed in the charcuteria across the street – to bring home to my own kitchen. Gracias, España, I love you.

Mint and arugula turn out to be herbaceous soulmates, glossed in simple fruity olive oil and just a hint of S&P. The natural pepperiness of the arugula is cut, coaxed, sculpted by the mint leaves and oil, mellowing sharpness and allowing every element to shine distinct and bright.

Pomegranate, Arugula, Fennel, and Mint Salad with Jamón
adapted slightly from smitten kitchen.

fennel bulb, sliced thin
more minced mint than you think you need – a good handful here won’t be overboard, I promise.
pomegranate seeds – how to prepare.
jamón, or prosciutto
extra virgin olive oil

1. Toss the fennel slices with a touch of olive oil plus S&P. Arrange as a layer on the bottom of a plate.

2. Toss the arugula and mint together with just enough oil to distribute itself across the array, plus S&P. Place atop fennel.

3. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds on leaves. Tear jamón/prosciutto into attractive bits and distribute evenly.




2 responses

3 02 2012

We made this at home – Mom loved it. For me, there were some sublime bites with great flavor balance (brought together by the pomegranate), but we used too much arugula I think – swaying things toward the bitter. I had not tried eating pomegranate seeds outright – I always just nibble off the delicious pulp. Do those digest – they’re pretty hard?

3 02 2012

Perhaps you needed more mint – I found each balanced the less nice aspects of the other perfectly. I’m pretty sure you can just eat pom seeds as is, although google tells me some people suck them dry and spit them out. This seems infinitely more ick to me, but to each his own…

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