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Arugula-Orange Salad with Pomegranate-White Wine Vinaigrette

Perfect for holiday entertaining, this salad features the traditional colors of Christmas. It also allows you to make good use of your fancy vinegars. Champagne vinegar, fruit-flavored vinegar or white wine vinegar will work with the sweet and tart taste of the pomegranate and oranges.

Ingredients:

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. white wine vinegar or raspberry vinegar
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

  • 2 large navel oranges
  • 3 bunches arugula, tough stems removed
  • 1 small red onion, sliced crosswise into thin rings

Directions:

To make the vinaigrette, carefully remove the skin from the pomegranate. Working over a sieve placed over a bowl to catch the juices, peel away the thick membrane from the pomegranate seeds and allow the loosened seeds to collect in the sieve. Measure 1/3 cup of the seeds and reserve for garnish. Press on the remaining seeds with the back of a spoon to release about 2 Tbs. juice. Discard the crushed seeds.

Add the olive oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper to the pomegranate juice. Whisk until blended.

Using a small, sharp knife, cut a slice off the top and bottom of each orange to expose the flesh. Place each orange upright on a cutting board and thickly slice off the peel in strips, following the contour of the orange to expose the flesh. Holding the orange over a large bowl, cut along either side of each section, letting the section drop into the bowl. Add the arugula and red onion, separating the onion slices into rings. Drizzle the dressing over the salad, then toss to coat evenly.

Divide the salad among individual plates, distributing the orange sections evenly. Garnish with the reserved pomegranate seeds. Serve immediately.
Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Holiday Celebrations, by Marie Simmons (Time-Life Books, 1998).