TV cooking shows, magazines and food blogs for weeks have been stuffed to the gills (or should I say drumsticks?) with recipes and stories about Turkey. To brine or not to brine,to use a wet rub or a dry rub, to deep fry or roast, to stuff or not to stuff, to truss… or not truss – those are the questions we constantly ask ourselves at this time of year. It seems pretty clear though that all this endless experimentation with techniques and recipes is symptomatic of our eternal obsession quest to find the one … you know, the one that goes perfectly with all the other dishes we make! I think this is the reason Turkey has survived as the meat of choice for this day. Sweet potatoes with marshmallows. , candied yams,, cranberries and , Can you really see pairing sweet potatoes with marshmallows, cranberry sauce and candied yams with.. beef ? And stuffing? Where on earth would you put that in a roast and where are you going to find a wishbone on one?? All of this of course goes to prove my point – it really isn’t about the turkey at all – it’s about the sides!
On the subject of sides, salad is not the first dish that comes to mind – which is a shame really since a good salad definitely deserves a prime spot on the Turkey table. Cool and crunchy, salads provide a great counterpoint to all of the potatoes, squash and cooked vegetable sides that are an integral part of the traditional meal. The best part though is that there is no jockeying for oven space with salads. Figs and pomegranates aren’t traditional flavors associated with Thanksgiving but the tang of pomegranate and the sweet, intense chewiness of the figs paired with a light white wine vinaigrette and crisp greens works beautifully with turkey.. whether you use a brine, a rub, deep fry or just rub it with a bit of butter and roast it in the oven.
Greens with Pomegranate Braised Figs
- 1 cup pure pomegranate juice (such as POM)
- 1/2 cup dried black Mission figs, cut lengthwise
- 1 tsp. honey
- 3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 6 cups baby salad greens
- 1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 cup toasted pecans
- . In a small saucepan combine the pomegranate juice, honey and the figs. Bring the mixture to a boil. Boil for approximately 8 minutes or until the pomegranate juice is reduced to a thick glaze.
- Cool and set aside. Taste and add a bit more honey if desired.
- Place the greens in a large bowl. In small bowl, whisk the olive with the white wine vinegar. Season with salt and white pepper. Drizzle dressing over the greens and toss.
- Place a mound of greens on 4 plates. Place several figs on the greens and sprinkle with the cheese and pecans. Drizzle a bit of the pomegranate syrup over the greens. Serve