Fall is upon us and it’s time to focus on the bounty of seasonal produce that has been waiting patiently for us to partake in them. Squash, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, greens, pumpkins, spinach, sweet potatoes and of course, apples. Time to for good ol’ comfort food that soothes our souls. The food that brings in the holidays and gets us thinking about all that is warm and wonderful. Have a salacious seasonal recipe? Share it! Otherwise, stop by each week for a new dose of Fall and Winter freshness.
POM Wonderful’s Kale Salad with Candied Pecans, Pickled Kumquat, Pomegranate Arils and Macerated Golden Grapes. This recipe was created exclusively for POM by chef, Michael Mina of RN74, Bourbon Steak, Strip Steak. As the seasons start to change, people tend to want comfort food such as soups, potatoes and POM Wonderful’s Kale salad is a great and healthy compliment to any meal or completely by itself; throughout the fall/winter season. Perfect for vegetarians, this dish just what it says, “WONDERFUL.”
3/4 cup arils from POM Wonderful Pomegranates (or 3/4 cup POM POMS Fresh Arils)
5 oz. kale leaves, ribs removed 1 cup blue cheese, crumbled
Macerated Golden Grapes
1/2 lb. golden grapes
1 cup sweet Riesling wine
10 kumquats, seeded and sliced 1⁄2 cup water
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups pecan halves
4 tablespoons butter, salted 4 tablespoons brown sugar
Riesling Honey Vinaigrette
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1⁄4 cup macerated golden grapes
Fingerling Potato Chips, for garnish
1/2 lb. fingerling potatoes 1 teaspoon salt
Simplicity expert and purveyor of provocative vegetarian cuisine, A.Michelle Blakeley is the curator of the new online magazine, The Vegetarian Aficionado. Being a vegetarian is a lifestyle. With a focus on plant-based seasonal and local fare, vegetarianism is a harmonic balance between your mind, body and soul that gives rise to an appetite for life. Connect with her on Twitter at @vegaficionado
Macerated golden grapes
(can be made ahead of time)
- Put grapes in an appropriate size saucepot.
- In a different saucepot, bring Riesling to 165°F.
- Remove Riesling from heat and pour over grapes. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate in liquid for 4 hours.
- Strain and reserve.
Note: the macerated grapes can be made up to 36 hours in advance and stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.
- Combine the water, red wine vinegar and sugar in a saucepot, place over high flame and whisk vigorously until the sugar is dissolved. Heat to a boil.
- Pour hot pickling liquid over the sliced kumquats and let them cool in the liquid.
- In a saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat, add pecans and toss to coat.
- Add sugar and stir frequently until caramelized.
- Spread on a wax paper-covered sheet pan to let cool.
Riesling honey vinaigrette
- In a blender, combine sherry vinegar, Dijon mustard and honey.
- Slowly add in oil in steady streams to emulsify. the mixture should be thick enough to coat a spoon when it is dipped into the mixture.
- Add water as needed to reduce thickness.
- When vinaigrette is complete, add 1/4 cup macerated golden grapes slowly to purée.
- Season with salt and reserve in refrigerator.
Fingerling potato chips
- Wash and dry potatoes. Slice lengthwise thinly, using a mandoline if available.
- Place sliced potatoes in water to keep them from oxidizing and to remove some of the starch.
- Drain potatoes and drop into 350°F fryer until golden brown and crispy.
- Remove, drain well and season immediately with salt and pepper. (Alternatively, you can bake them in the oven on 400°F for 20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.)
- Prepare fresh pomegranate arils, if necessary.*
- Julienne the kale leaves into 1/4″ slices.
- In a stainless steel mixing bowl, add kale and 1/4 cup vinaigrette. Season with salt to taste.
- Remove kumquats from pickling liquid and drain them slightly on a folded paper towel.
- Add half the amount each of arils, kumquat, candied pecans and remaining macerated golden grapes.
- Plate in a chilled bowl and finish by garnishing with the remainder of the arils, kumquat, candied pecans and macerated golden grapes.
- Garnish the top of the salad with fingerling potato chips and blue cheese, and serve.
*to prepare fresh arils, score 2 large POM Wonderful Pomegranates and place in a bowl of water. Break open the pomegranate under water to free the arils (seed sacs). the arils will sink to the bottom of the bowl and the membrane will float to the top. Sieve and put the arils in a separate bowl. Reserve 1 1⁄2 cups of the arils from fruit and set aside. (Refrigerate or freeze remaining arils for another use.)