Indian Influence: Pomegranate and Asian pear salad

 
By Jessie Kaur,
Special to The Post
 
Every autumn, my siblings and I anticipated the arrival of pomegranates.
Their exotic appeal made them expensive yet that didn’t stop my parents from buying them. They would save them for us, stating they had many growing up in India.
To get to the pomegranate arils (seeds) my siblings and I would partake in the intensive task of picking them out, admiring the fruits of our labour at the end: glistening clusters of rubies. 
Combining these seeds with chaat masala is ideal. Chaat masala is one of the least appreciated flavours in Indian cuisine. It delivers a zingy, tangy, slightly hot powderized salt form: a miracle of sorts.
For this salad, the dressing elevates the ingredients by creating a melded hot, sour and salty combination.
The pomegranate arils add a sweet crunch, and the ruby hue makes the dark green spinach pop. The Asian pear imparts a juicy caramel sweetness with floral notes of melon and a mild acidity.
 
Pomegranate & Asian Pear Salad with Chaat Masala Dressing
Salad
• 6 to 8 cups spinach leaves
• 1 large Asian pear, cored and thinly sliced
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1 pomegranate, seeded
 
Dressing
• 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
• 2 tablespoons honey
• 1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard
• 1 teaspoon chaat masala
• ¼ teaspoon black pepper
• 4 tablespoons olive oil
 
Directions
 
Core pear and thinly slice; toss with lemon juice. Divide the spinach on plates. Arrange the pear slices on top. Sprinkle salads with pomegranate seeds. Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together mustard, honey, black pepper, chaat masala, and vinegar. Slowly, add the oil. Whisk. Drizzle dressing lightly over each plated salad.
 
Jessie Lehail is the author of Indian Influence, a food blog that takes global eats and reinterprets them with a South Asian influence. Visit her blog at www.indianinfluence.ca.
 

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