Super Salad

Time flies when you’re having fun. I can’t believe that July is coming to a close and we are in our fourth and final week of the POM Wonderful Summer Menu Series. I’ve been having so much fun in my kitchen with POM Wonderful pomegranate…

Super Salad

Time flies when you’re having fun. I can’t believe that July is coming to a close and we are in our fourth and final week of the POM Wonderful Summer Menu Series.

I’ve been having so much fun in my kitchen with POM Wonderful pomegranate juice! It has really proven to be such a versatile ingredient, and has so many applications beyond beverages.  As you can see from the recipes I and the other wonderful ladies behind this Summer of POM series have shared, it adds so much flavor and a unique flair to so many different courses.

One other bonus from working on this project is that I was introduced to some wonderfully creative bloggers! It was a pleasure meeting Danica’s DailyFitness & Spice and Being Chelsea, as well as last week’s guest contributor, The Wicked Noodle. I think we pulled together some really fun menus! I look forward to following them, and hope you do, too.

My last post for this series is a salad. I wanted to do a hearty salad pasta salad, and considered using macaroni or orzo. But I thought it might be better to shoot for something healthier, so I decided on a POMegranate Quinoa Salad. If you’ve never tried quinoa before, I encourage you to try this superfood. Think of this as a modern macaroni salad. Between all the proteins and vitamins of the quinoa and the antioxidants in POM’s pomegranate juice, you’ve got a super salad!

The robust pomegranate dressing pairs so well with the crunch from the vegetables and the heartiness of the quinoa. It serves quite nicely in its supporting role of salad, and tastes great with grilled chicken, pork or even fish. But I think that the next time I make it, I’ll let it shine on its own by adding some feta cheese. It will be the perfect summer lunch on a busy day!

My sincerest thanks to POM Wonderful for inviting me to participate in this fun series. It was such a tasty experience!

POMegranate Quinoa Salad

For the dressing:

  • 1/3 cup POM Wonderful pomegranate juice
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard

For the salad:

  • 3/4 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 1/4 cup dried pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries
  • 1 cup English cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup yellow bell pepper, diced
  • feta cheese, optional
  • fresh pomegranate seeds, optional, for garnish (and added crunch)

In a large bowl, combine the dressing ingredients (from pomegranate juice to Dijon mustard). Set aside.

Cook quinoa by placing it in a medium saucepan with 1 1/2 cups water and setting over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Cover and allow to cook for about 20 minutes. Allow to cool. The quinoa can also be cooked in advance.

Add quinoa, dried pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries, and vegetables to dressing. Toss gently. Allow to chill in the refrigerator. Before serving, add cheese if desired. Garnish with fresh pomegranate seeds.

Comments

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    • Liren

      I know, it does take a little getting used to! But, once you do, oh, the benefits. I think of quinoa as a guiltless food!

      Reply
  1. Priscilla - She's Cookin'

    You have used the pomegranate in such creative ways for this series! Quinoa was definitely a better choice than macaroni or orzo – and with the colorful veggies and crimson pomegranate seeds, you’ve given me inspiration for the next time I make quinoa.

    Reply
    • Liren

      Thanks Priscilla! I’m really pleased that you enjoyed the series. Hope you do try this next time you’re in the mood for quinoa!

      Reply
  2. Jean

    What a beautiful and colorful quinoa salad. I admit that I never think of using quinoa but it’s so good. It’s funny that you posted this because I just found an unopened box in my pantry. I wonder if it’s still any good, hmm.

    You’ve posted some very creative uses for POM and they’ve all been perfect for summer. Great job, Liren!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Thanks Jean! I’m glad you liked the series — quinoa is so overlooked, but I’m trying to eat it more! I hope you try this (and like it!).

      Reply
  3. Monet

    So I know that Brian has good taste…but I must say I’m SO impressed with your site. It is beautiful! Your pictures are stunning, your prose beautiful, and your recipes are calling my name. I love finding new quinoa salads…by far one of my most favorite grains

    Reply
    • Liren

      Monet, I’m so glad to have met you through Brian, too! You are so sweet – I’m really pleased that you like my site, particularly the writing, since you have such a way with words yourself :)

      Reply
    • Liren

      Hey there! So good to see you – glad you liked the POM series – it was fun!!

      Reply
  4. Chef Dennis

    what a beautiful healthy salad…..quinoa was definitely a better choice than macaroni or even orzo…..the veggies are just so fresh and your dressing just pulls it all together…
    thanks for sharing such a wonderful creation, I’m sure the folks at POM are proud as peacocks!
    all the best
    Dennis

    Reply
    • Liren

      Thanks Chef Dennis :) Orzo would have been fantastic, but I have much less guilt when I eat this with quinoa :) Glad you liked this!

      Reply
  5. Danica

    Awwww ~ such a sweet post! It has been so much fun cooking with you too! I look forward to following you and all the other POMWonderful girls too :D

    Ok – your salad – YUM! It might just be enough for me to give Quinoa another try. Beautiful presentation!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Hi Danica! I meant every word :) I’m glad we had such a fun opportunity to cook together. Hope you do give quinoa another try…it takes a little getting used to :)

      Reply
  6. Joy

    What a wonderful salad. I love all the different vegatables. Especially the bell peppers.

    Reply
    • Liren

      Thanks Joy! I love how colorful the bell peppers make the salad!

      Reply
  7. Carol Egbert

    This all looks tasty. When I cook quinoa, I always rinse it and then parch it in a cast iron I skillet until it smells slightly nutty. I found that doing this makes a huge difference.

    Reply
  8. Brian @ A Thought For Food

    Liren, I’m so thrilled that you made this recipe. I’m such a huge fan of quinoa and the many ways you can use it. I’ve been adding pesto and other fun things to my dishes to spice it up and I’ve been looking for the next thing to do with it. I think I just found it. ;-)

    Reply
    • Liren

      Hi Brian, quinoa is relatively new to me, and I’m trying to add it more to my diet because it is such an excellent source of nutrients! I like your idea of pesto!

      Reply
  9. Gitte

    The salad is beautiful, so full of color. I just bought some Quinoa but havn’t had the chance to try it yet. Now you got me inspired. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Liren

      Thanks, Gitte! Do try quinoa – it’s so good for you. Takes a little getting used to, but I’ve grown to really like it.

      Reply
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