Beet and pomegranate salad
(Photo: Mari Levine)

Pomegranate seeds are small but mighty. Their brilliant magenta color stands out in any dish. Their snappy kernels pop in your mouth. And, despite their size, they pack a mighty hit of sweet and tart flavor.

You can buy pomegranate seeds outside of their fruit, or you can remove them yourself from a single pomegranate. The latter is less expensive and more fun. There are several ways to get the seeds from a pomegranate, but my favorite is to halve it across the equator, then hold it over a bowl, cut side down, and whack the heck out of it with a wooden spoon. You’ll be surprised at just how many seeds even one half of the pomegranate contains.

Pomegranates are commonly eaten on Tu BiShvat and go well with another food known for its vibrant color: beets. The colorful combination makes this salad a stunner, and some additional ingredients—including scallions, pistachios and goat cheese—make it a treat to eat as well.


Roasted Beet and Pomegranate Salad

Serves 5

1¾ pounds beets, scrubbed, ends trimmed, and quartered
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
5 sprigs thyme
¼ cup pomegranate seeds
2 ounces goat cheese, divided
2 tablespoons sliced scallions
2 tablespoons chopped pistachios
1 tablespoon torn mint leaves

For Vinaigrette

1 tablespoon beet cooking liquid
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon orange zest
1½ tablespoons olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place beets in 9×13 baking dish. Drizzle olive oil over beets and stir until oil is evenly distributed on beets. In small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, honey and ½ cup water. Pour into baking dish and add thyme. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Roast until beets are cooked through and a paring knife easily slices the pieces. Remove from oven and let beets cool.

2. Meanwhile, in small bowl, whisk together beet cooking liquid, honey, white wine vinegar, mustard and orange zest. Whisking constantly, drizzle in olive oil. Set aside.

3. When beets are cool enough to handle, use paper towels or paring knife to rub or peel off skins. Cut into 1-inch pieces and transfer to medium bowl.

4. Pour vinaigrette over beets and stir to coat. Stir in half of pomegranate seeds, 1 ounce goat cheese and 1½ tablespoons scallions. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Transfer to serving bowl or platter. Top with chopped pistachios, torn mint leaves and remaining pomegranate seeds, goat cheese and scallions. Serve.