Rocket Salad with Pomegranates and Toasted Hazelnuts

We continue cooking through our collection of Alice Waters books with Chez Panisse Fruit (book number 8). Like Chez Panisse Vegetables (book number 6), the recipes are organized by type of fruit. We’ll be coming back to this book throughout the year as different fruits come into season, as it is another valuable resource that we have not been taking full advantage of.

It being winter, local fresh fruit in Maine is pretty much limited to apples, though a wide assortment of varieties are available, and there are plenty of apple recipes in the book. Since we had half of a pomegranate left over from another meal, however, we opted to make the Rocket (Arugula) Salad with Pomegranates and Toasted Hazelnuts.

This was so quick and simple to make that it almost felt like cheating, but after the amount of time involved in making the Onion Confit and Winter Greens Pasta, we decided to take it a little easier on this one. The bulk of the prep, which took about 15 minutes, was toasting and chopping the hazelnuts and seeding the pomegranate. All that was left was tossing the arugula with red wine and balsamic vinegars, olive oil, and salt and pepper before adding the chopped nuts and pomegranate seeds. The peppery arugula, sweet pomegranate, and crunchy hazelnut were a perfect accompaniment to a pair of plump Leaf & Caul pork chops. This time, there were no leftovers.

Up next: In the Green Kitchen.

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