Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Southwest Pomegranate & Avocado Salad

Pomegranates and avocados are two of my favorite ingredients – if I see a recipe that incorporates either, I almost always save it to my Pinterest. This salad had both, plus bacon, so I figured it had to be good. 

I had trouble finding a whole pomegranate this trip to the grocery store, so I bought just the seeds, which are a bit pricier.  If they do have a whole pomegranate, I usually buy that and seed it myself.  It’s a little messy, but once you do it a time or two it's pretty easy.

Make sure you’re wearing clothes that you don’t mind getting juice on (since it gets everywhere).  Cut the pomegranate in quarters and submerge it in a large bowl of water.  Gently break it apart in the water – the seeds will sink to the bottom, while the flesh floats to the top.  I usually do this right when I come back from the grocery store so I already have fresh pomegranate ready to go when I want it. 

Then a trick I’ve learned when choosing your avocados – if you remove the stem, a perfect avocado will be green inside. If it has already turned brown, it is too ripe.  You want one that has a little bit of give when you squeeze it, but not too squishy.

The original recipe mashed the avocado into sort of a guacamole – I kept mine in large slices instead.  If you slice yours, cut it in half, then press your knife into the pit and give it a spin to remove it.  You can slice it up while it’s still in the skin, and then use a spoon to scoop it out. 

This salad doesn’t even need a dressing since the goat cheese and lime combine to create a creamy coating over the veggies.  The original recipe called for 4 slices of bacon – we doubled it (why not?).  It also called for 8 ounces of goat cheese, but I cut that in half – I think 4 ounces was the perfect amount to not overpower the other ingredients.  Other than that, everything else that goes into this salad is very healthy, so it’s a relatively guilt-free meal.  We served ours with a side of cheesy garlic toast.  It was fresh, filling, and super simple to put together - I'll definitely make it again.  
Southwest Pomegranate & Avocado Salad (adapted from Cooking and Beer)

·        2 large avocados, sliced
·        1 red  bell pepper, sliced into bite sized pieces
·        1 jalapeƱo pepper, sliced (I only had ½ a pepper but use as much as you’d like – remove the seeds if you don’t like it spicy)
·        1 can whole kernel corn, drained
·        1 can seasoned black beans, drained
·        ½ cup pomegranate seeds
·        8 strips bacon, cooked and broken in bite sized pieces
·        4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
·        ½ tsp salt
·        ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
·        1 tsp lime juice
·        ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped (cilantro would be better but I didn’t have any on hand)

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss.  It’s that easy! 

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