The nutty flavor of fregola pairs beautifully with the tart-sweet bursts from the pomegranate arils in this Spinach Pomegranate Salad recipe. Fresh, flavorful and so easy to make.
Can anyone honestly say that they do not overspend when shopping at Costco?
Don’t get me wrong. I love Costco. But despite my best intentions, and making “the list”, it is so easy to get carried away. I have friends that are no longer members because of this.
Last week, I went to Costco -list in hand and eyes focused on the list. My mission was clear. Only buy what was on the list.
Everything was going according to plan until I spotted them.
I could not resist.
I did not want to resist. Pomegranates are one of my favorite fruits. They are only in season from October to January, hence they are referred to as ” the jewel of winter”. So, it was now or never!
If you would like to know more about pomegranates, I created a short video on How to Easily Remove Pomegranate Seeds. Just click on the link to view it.
Pomegranate, the superfruit: A great source of Vitamin K, vitamin C, and fiber; not to mention folate, potassium and so much more. You really cannot go wrong with pomegranates.
Who would guess that hidden under that tough exterior are hundreds of jewel-like seeds (referred to as arils) that provide flavorful bursts of tart-sweet juice and so much nutrition? Pomegranates are great as a snack, but today we are going to combine them with another one of my favorite foods: fregola.
Fregola, as you probably know, originates from the south side of Sardinia (in Italy). It has often been compared to Israeli couscous, but with a wonderful nutty flavor.
Once you begin to experiment with this type of pasta, you will find that the nutty flavor, combined with its chewy texture makes fregola an ideal ingredient in salads. Here are some other salads that highlight the contribution of fregola in salads.
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Fregola in salads:
The first is a Fregola Salad with Roasted Red Pepper where the anise-like flavor of fennel and the smokiness of the roasted red pepper is combined with the nuttiness of fregola.
This Mediterranean inspired salad recipe is another great salad! Fregola is combined with lentils, sun-dried tomatoes, and black olives. As a bonus, this healthy fregola salad with lentils can be eaten hot, cold or at room temperature.
So you can well imagine that a recipe entitled Simple Fregola Spinach Pomegranate Winter Salad has a lot going for it. I will usually cook the fregola until there is still a chew to it. So, the time on my package indicates the cooking time as 14-17 minutes. I will cook the fregola for about 10-12 minutes.
Once the fregola has cooled off, I add the rest of the ingredients (spinach, parsley, toasted walnuts) and combine them all. I will then drizzle the salad with a balsamic vinaigrette. Finally, the pomegranate arils are gently folded in. Just in case you are wondering, leftovers make great packed lunches.
Origins of the recipe for Simple Fregola Spinach Pomegranate Salad:
A few years ago, I purchased a cookbook by Diane Henry called Plenty. If you like fresh, whole and unprocessed foods, that are in season, this cookbook is for you. Ms. Henry is truly a wizard at food combinations that create taste explosions!
One of the first recipes I made from this book was a Barley, Parsley, and Pomegranate Salad recipe. Ms. Henry has a website where you can find a few of her recipes (if interested, you can follow the link for the original recipe).
As much as I love barley, I love fregola more. I thought it would be interesting to replace the barley with fregola and include a balsamic vinaigrette. Needless to say, if I am sharing this recipe with all of you, it is because this Simple Fregola Spinach Pomegranate Winter Salad is a big hit in my family.
So, if you happen to be at Costco, look for the pomegranates and enjoy them.
Don’t forget to bring your list 🙂
Spinach Pomegranate Salad
- 1 cup fregola
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp Italian flat leaf parsley chopped finely
- 4 ounces spinach fresh, chopped (115 grams approx 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 cup walnuts chopped
- 1/2 pomegranate (seeds)
- 1/4 cup olive oli extra virgin
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a rolling boil.
- Stir and cook fregola for approximately 12 minutes or until al dente.
- Add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil to keep the fregola from drying out.
- When the fregola has cooled to room temperature, add the parsley, spinach, walnuts. Combine gently together.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, honey, dry mustard and salt and pepper to make the balsamic vinaigrette.
- Drizzle vinaigrette over salad.
- Gently combine the pomegranate seeds.
- Taste for seasonings and serve.