I make a lot of soups and stews in the winter, but I still crave cold and refreshing salads year-round. I've been eating a lot of pomegranates recently and got inspired to make this vibrant, nutrient-dense winter salad loaded with beautiful greens. Radicchio, fennel, pomegranate, fresh citrus, and toasted pine nuts combine for an amazing burst of flavours- you'll love this.
As we know, diets focused around plant foods are linked to a reduced risk of chronic disease, including cardiovascular disease. Bitter greens like radicchio are excellent for your body. They contain compounds called glucosinolates, which gives them their bitter taste. Bitter greens provide prebiotic materials used to feed the good bacteria in your gut, which help contribute to a healthy gut microbiome.
Did you know? Radicchio is a bitter green in the chicory family, and looks a bit like a small cabbage. It's very nutrient dense- high in zinc, copper and loaded with vitamin K. Antioxidants help to protect your cells from free radical damage. Radicchio is high in antioxidants called anthocyanins, which give it its beautiful deep purple colour.
Tip: if radicchio is too bitter for you, simply chop then soak the leaves in cold water for about 30 minutes to cut the bitterness. The compounds that make radicchio bitter are water-soluble!
If you want to keep this on the lighter side, simply omit the quinoa and serve as a starter salad.
*Makes about 4 servings
½ cup dry quinoa
¼ cup fresh chopped parsley
1 small container of greens of choice ( I used sweet greens)
2 cups radicchio, chopped (1/2 a small head)
1 cup thinly sliced fennel (1/2 bulb)
4 tbsp toasted pine nuts
3 tbsp pomegranate seeds
¼ cup olive oil
1 tbsp finely chopped red onion
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp orange juice
1/8 tsp orange zest
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1.5 tbsp pomegranate molasses ( you can find this online or at a middle eastern grocery store) ... if you don't have this, the dressing will still be great without it.
salt, pepper to taste
Cook the quinoa according to package directions and set aside .
Chop the parsley, radicchio and fennel and add to a large bowl.
Toast the pine nuts until golden brown on low heat. Keep a close eye on them so they don't burn.
Make the dressing: add all dressing ingredients together (except the oil) and mix well. Slowly add in the oil last, whisking until emulsified.
Assemble your salad: add in the quinoa, greens, parsley, radicchio and fennel. Add in the dressing and toss well. Top with the toasted pine nuts and pomegranate seeds. You can add an extra drizzle of pomegranate molasses to your salad before eating, for an extra pop of flavour.
Hope you love this bright and beautiful salad! It's a refreshing meal perfect for lunch or dinner that will keep you feeling light and energized. Eating healthy never tasted so good!