Holiday entertaining season is in full swing now and there are just a few days left of school which can only mean one thing… Many of us are spending our free time either preparing for, or attending, holiday parties. I love this time of year – catching up with people who I might not have seen for weeks/ months and sharing some party food and drinks. Of course this can leave one hankering for a decent meal after a few rounds of parties so it’s nice when some of that entertaining includes an actual sit down meal.
Holiday feasts is, appropriately, the theme of this month’sKraft Canada #whatscooking assignment and when I was planning what I would make for this post, I found myself gravitating to the salad recipes in the entertaining section. I know some people don’t care for salads over the holidays, especially if it’s cooler weather, but coming from the Southern Hemisphere, I always try to make sure that even for a cold weather holiday meal, I include a salad. It’s in my blood I guess! I chose to adapt this pomegranate quinoa spinach salad slightly but kept the main ingredients – spinach and pomegranate seeds – because they just look so festive! It’s a pretty addition to any holiday table and if you leave it undressed, it makes excellent leftovers (let’s face it, you’ll probably be grateful for salad leftovers over the holidays!).
- 6 cups loosely packed baby spinach leaves
- 1 small radicchio, thinly sliced
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup cooked pearl barley or wheat berries
- 1/2 cup pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
- 1/3 cup Cracker Barrel Feta Crumbles
- 1/4 cup soft goat’s cheese, crumbled
- 3/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- Lemon Poppyseed dressing (see below)
- Place spinach and radicchio in a large serving bowl.
- In a separate bowl, combine pearl barley, pepitas, cheeses and pomegranate seeds.
- Toss the pearl barley mix into the spinach/ radicchio.
- Serve with lemon poppyseed dressing (I let people dress their own salad).
- 60 mls (1/4 cup) lemon juice
- 60 – 80 mls (1/4 – 1/3 cup) olive oil (taste before you add the entire amount – some people prefer this more tart)
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a small jar, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, honey and poppy seeds.
- Shake until mixed well.
- Add salt and pepper to taste (or serve separately on the table)
Verdict? This is a simple salad to prepare, looks lovely on any table, whether it’s the holidays or not and is one of those salads that satisfies (thanks to the pearly barley, pumpkin seeds and the cheeses). It’s definitely not the afterthought of a dish that many salads are. And the dressing? So versatile. Works well on this salad but also on others. There’s a jar in my fridge right now, in fact!
Disclosure: As a Kraft Canada #whatscooking contributor, I receive compensation for writing these posts, however, all opinions are 100% my own.