Tis the Season for Pomegrante

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Pomegranate Tree by Naomi Arielle
Oil on Linen, 9" x 12", 2014
Despite the fact that we have 3 nieces and a nephew staying for the weekend, it's lovely and 
quiet in my house right now. Four of the kids are outside playing in the melty snow, one is napping, and 3 are playing an imaginative - but quiet - airport game between the couch and the coffee table beside me. 

My 3-year-old niece just mentioned that she "wubs abocabo", which Uncle Jim gave her with breakfast this morning. I wub abocabo too, and equally wub adding it to my meals. I had a particularly good quarter of an avocado for breakfast today, with an egg and bacon and mayo on an English muffin. What a decadent treat! If I lived in California, I'd have an avocado tree. And an orange tree. And a lemon. And a pomegranate. Instead, I live in the Cold White North, where those sorts of things won't survive the winter.

I can't really complain about the Cold White North right now, though. It has been a really beautiful December. It looks like we might not even have a particularly white Christmas next week, but I have really appreciated the warmer weather. And while I can't have my own pomegranate tree, I love that they're back in season and ready to sprinkle some jewelled lovlieness into our meals!

I made a salad that everyone loved, thanks to the bright sweet-tartness of this special treat. Our ten year old asked if we could have them every day. I would think that might take away from the magic of Christmas Pomegranates, though. 

This salad will be a perfect addition to the Christmas buffet next weekend - I'm definitely going to plan on making it for the big meal!

Christmas Salad - with Spinach, Candied Pecans and Pomegranate

Pomegranate Spinach Salad

10 oz baby spinach, washed
1/2 c pecans
1/4-1/2 slivered red onion (to taste)
1 pomegranate, seeded and picked clean 
1/4 c crumbled feta cheese (or more to taste)

3/4 c pecan halves
1 T brown sugar
1 T butter

3 T olive oil
3 T really good, thick balsamic vinegar like this one
pinch salt

Prepare the pecans: in a hot cast iron skillet, melt the butter. When it is just brown, add the pecans and stir to coat. Stir in sugar. Add 1/4 c of water and a pinch of salt and, stirring frequently, allow it to dissolve the sugar and evaporate. The pecans will toast without burning as quickly, and the brown sugar and butter will infuse them with flavour. Once they're a lovely, even brown, remove them from heat. Take them out of the skillet and allow to cool in a bowl. You can then roughly chop them or leave them halved. 

Toss together the spinach, onion, pomegranate seeds, feta and cooled pecans. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and toss with the salad.