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Sunset Vinaigrette

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While the color is clearly reminiscent of the last glowing rays of sun along the horizon, the flavor of this vinaigrette is incredibly bright. Try it on a salad of cucumber, tomato, red onion, parsley, and romaine lettuce, and serve with olive oil-baked pita chips. Or dab a bit over pork, lamb, duck, or chicken.  Pomegranate seeds make up the body of the vinaigrette, providing all of the health benefits that have elevated them to “superfood” status. Ponder this for a moment. This is actually a healthy salad dressing. Not bottled, no preservatives, very low in sugar. Homemade within minutes. Filled with Vitamins A, C, and E, high levels of antioxidants, with anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-lowering properties, it is a beautiful, delicious win-win.

 

Prep Time:  10 minutes

Yields:  1 ½ cups

Dietary Specifications:  Vegetarian, Dairy Free, Gluten Free

 

Ingredients:

¾C pomegranate seeds (I use frozen, see note)

¼C Gustare Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar

1 Tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed

1 Tbsp pomegranate honey

4 Tbsp fresh mint, chiffonade cut

½C Gustare Whole Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Pinch salt and pepper, optional

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend on high speed (I use the “liquefy” button on my blender) for 60 seconds, until thick, smooth, and light crimson in color.
  2. I enjoy the dressing as is. However, you may choose to press through a fine strainer to remove any remnants of seeds if you prefer. 

Note: 

Pomegranates are normally available in supermarkets during the late autumn or early winter, when they are in season. Seeds are often sold in the produce department, but I find they are often fermented by the time I purchase them. Frozen pomegranate seeds are available year round in most supermarkets, and I have chosen to use them in many recipes, this one included. The quality is quite high, with the seeds frozen at their peak. They defrost in seconds under cool running water, and then they are sweet, tender-crisp, and ready to go. 

Variations:

*Substitute pomegranate juice for seeds. Increase honey to 2 Tbsp, and be sure to add 1/8 tsp each salt and pepper. Dressing will be slightly sharper in taste, more fluid and clear, light brown from the dark balsamic, with flecks of minced mint, but you can avoid any seed or straining. 

*Make it a marinade!  Omit pomegranate seeds. Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic, and fresh mint.  Increase lemon juice and honey to 2 Tbsp each, increase salt and pepper to ¼ tsp each, and add 2 cloves pressed garlic. Great with pork, chicken, duck, or lamb.