I couldn't decide whether to call this 'Mozzarella, Pomegranate and Almond Salad' or 'My Christmas Salad' because I can never resist serving it as a starter on Christmas Eve. Eventually, on the basis that I could never just limit this salad to Christmas time and enjoy it as long as pomegranates are in season I thought I'd stick to it's original name! It is so easy to make and tastes amazing. Full of crunchy nuts and vibrant pomegranate seeds, soft creamy mozzarella and your favourite mix of salad leaves it's impossible not to love it.
The quantities are fairly roughly measured as generally I tend to just go by eye based on how many I am feeding, using handfuls of things here and there so please don't worry about measuring anything out specifically – add as much or as little of each ingredient as you like.
Serves 4 (easily halved or doubled to feed a crowd)
2 tbsp Pine nuts (optional)
200g approx. of mixed salad leaves of your choice – try and use a variety of textures
Small handful of fresh mint leaves
Small handful of fresh basil leaves
2 balls of Mozzarella (either cows or buffalo)
Seeds from 1 pomegranate
Maldon salt or other sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
Good quality balsamic vinegar
Good quality extra virgin olive oil
In a dry frying pan gently toast the almonds and pine nuts (if using) until just golden, being very careful not to burn them. Set aside and leave to cool.
Scatter the mixed salad leaves on to a large platter (or alternatively divide it between 4 serving plates) then sprinkle over the mint and basil leaves, roughly ripping up any larger leaves. Scatter the cooled nuts all over the salad then tear chunks of the mozzarella and gently drop on top of the salad. Finish with the pomegranate seeds which add a beautiful Christmassy jewel-like gleam to the salad then sprinkle the salt, crushing it gently with your fingers as you do, and a touch of freshly ground black pepper.
Just before serving drizzle over a little balsamic vinegar – roughly about 1 tablespoon, and then the extra virgin olive oil – about 2 tablespoons, then take to the table and let everyone help themselves. A wonderful salad and fantastic starter for Christmas Eve or for a Winter Dinner Party.