Roasted Cauliflower Salad in a Pomegranate Reduction + Tips on creating a winter salad

A slight deviation today to showcase a recipe that you may want to include on your Thanksgiving table. I am sharing a recipe by Chef Kristi Ritchey from the LA based Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop. After a life-long struggle with her weight, Chef Kristi Ritchey lost 110 pounds—and has kept it off for five years and counting—with a steady diet of Greenleaf’s signature menu items and regular exercise. She has appeared on “The Biggest Loser’s Pound-for-Pound Challenge,” Bravo’s “Thintervention with Jackie Warner,” and several local news channels. In June 2011, she made her primetime TV debut in the premiere of Food Network’s highly-anticipated new culinary competition, Extreme Chef.

 (PHOTO CREDIT: Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop)

Yield: 1 serving

3 oz baby arugula
¾ cup cauliflower, bite size pieces
¼ cup pomegranate seeds
1.5 oz turkey bacon, chopped
¼ cup red onion thinly sliced
1 oz olive oil
1 oz fresh lemon juice
4oz pomegranate juice
salt to taste
black pepper to taste


1. Roast the cauliflower in a high heat oven or grill until al dente.
2. Reduce the pomegranate juice and lemon juice to a thick sauce like consistency.
3. Make crispy onions from the red onions.
4. Mix all ingredients (except pomegranate reduction and crispy onions) and season with
salt and pepper.
5. Plate the salad and drizzle the pomegranate syrup over the salad while still warm and
top with crispy onions

 Other Tips on creating a satisfying winter salad:

  • Embrace the season. Cauliflower, butternut squash, pumpkin, and mushrooms, for instance, are great hearty vegetables that can be treated as a protein.  For example, butternut squash and Portobello mushrooms are great for grilling; cauliflower and pumpkin is perfect for roasting.
  • Use earthy dressings such as garlic, herb, balsamic, truffle, or roasted tomato dressings. During the winter, we crave hearty, filling foods; these dressings combined with grilled or roasted vegetables are satiating, not to mention, tremendous flavorful.
  • Don’t be afraid of spices. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin, chili flakes, and paprika and all great accent spices to winter vegetables. These spices also have great health benefits – red pepper flakes are high in vitamin A; nutmeg helps to remove toxins from your liver and kidney; paprika is high in Vitamin C; and cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties as well as iron, calcium, magnesium, and dietary fiber.
  • Use fresh herbs – Basil, thyme and oregano are all great, just pick your favorite herb and add it into the dressing or the salad itself.
  • Use cheese sparingly. We all know that too much of cheese isn’t good for us.  But a small amount of a healthier cheese, such as goat cheese, can significantly add to the flavor of a salad.  A small amount of herb crusted goat cheese is my favorite thing to add to Greenleaf’s Grilled Butternut Squash Salad.
  • Use seeds and nuts as accents. These will provide additional flavor accents but also texture and variety.

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