This simple warm kale salad with pork and a pomegranate balsamic reduction dressing will keep you warm in the winter and happy because it was so easy.
I received free samples of POM Wonderful mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by POM Wonderful and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
How This Simple Kale Salad Fits into My Lifestyle
I’ve become a pomegranate fan since attending Blog Brulee last year (and this year) because POM Wonderful was one of the sponsors, and I was introduced to how delicious POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice is in drinks and sauces, and lots of other food. Since that first introduction, I converted and am a true believer and lover of all things pomegranate. I’ve been adding POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice to my drinks, salad dressings, and now marinades. I couldn’t be happier with how delicious and stupidly easy these recipes are. Really, my absolute favorite thing about using POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice is that it’s so packed with delicious and nutritious flavor, that it cuts down on my ingredient list in the recipes I use it in AND I don’t have to take the time to crack open, dirty my kitchen, and take out all those pesky aerils from the actual pomegranate. That means I save time and energy (and clothes) while cooking. As you know, this is a big deal!
Here’s a few recipes that I’ve made with POM Wonderful & absolutely love:
As great as this dressing is, I need an easy winter salad to add to it. Warm salads are my favorite thing in the winter, because for some reason, the normal cold salad is so not appetizing when it’s 30 degrees outside. Kale and butternut squash are even better when they’re heated, so they make for the perfect simple base for this salad.
How it’ll make your life easier and better
Not only is POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice delicious and versatile, but I’ve found that the bold sweetness and tanginess in the bottle means needing to add fewer ingredients to dishes it’s in. If you’re like me and want to keep cooking simple, but still wants to eat deliciously and nutritiously, POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice is the perfect year-round pantry staple.
In addition to simplifying your cooking while still eating deliciously, POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice is packed with nutrition. For example, research that includes POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice uses 8 oz per day in its studies on muscle strength recovery, memory and cognition, microbiome, and more. That’s because POM Wonderful 100% Juice is powered by antioxidants. The pomegranate is whole-pressed, meaning a unique blend of polyphenol antioxidants from two whole pomegranates – including its fruit, pith and rind – is found in each 8 oz bottle. That means that you’ll be getting important and functional nutrients from the juice that you wouldn’t get from just eating the fruit. This makes quite the case for drinking juice vs the fruit, doesn’t it?!
Again, since the dressing is so easy, grab some prechopped kale and butternut squash to save you prep time. Many grocery stores have prechopped vegetables that are fresh and delicious.
Quick Notes on this Recipe
You can buy a whole squash, which is what I did because 1) it was on sale at Sprouts and 2) I like roasting the seeds… Choose a slightly soft squash because it’ll be way easier to cut, and if cooked right away, it’ll be perfectly sweet and deliciouis.
I actually roasted the squash for the first time in the oven. I left the skin on because it’s a pain to cut off when raw. You can toss the pieces in olive oil, salt, & pepper for a delicious and easy roasted vegetable. Afterward, I peeled the squash, cut it up real small then sauteed the pieces in a bit more oil, and then followed the recipe here. You can do it either way. I needed a bit of slow cooking therapy when I made this recipe, so the extra hands on time was functional for me.
You’ll use this delicious and easy 3 ingredient balsamic reduction for the dressing.
Warm Salad with Pomegranate Balsamic Dressing
- small sautee pan
- cutting board
- Measuring Spoons
- Measuring Cups
- 2 teaspoons Extra virgin olive oil (need an additional 1 tablespoon for salad dressing)
- 1/2 cup butternut squash cubed
- 2 cups chopped kale
- 1/2 cup Pomegranate balsamic vinegar refer to pomegranate balsamic vinegar recipe in notes
- 1 tablespoon Pistachios chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon Pomegranate aerils (optional)
- Reduce vinegar by pouring 1/2 cup of pomegranate balsamic vinegar (link to recipe in recipe notes) to hot saucepan. Cook on medium-medium/high heat, stirring occasionally, until 1/3-1/2 of vinegar remains. Remove from heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to reduced sauce. Stir together, and set aside. (if dressing hardens, whisk in more pomegranate balsamic vinegar, adding just a bit at a time. This will thin it out)
- Add 1/2 c uncooked butternut squash cubes to a microwave safe bowl with 1/4 cup water in it. Microwave on high for 4-5 minutes, or until butternut squash is soft (test by piercing a fork into one cube. If it goes in and comes out easily, it's done).
- Heat cast iron skillet or large saucepan over medium/medium high heat. Once pan is hot, add 2 tsp oil, and then 1/2 cup cooked cubed butternut squash. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir and flip butternut squash just 3-4 times so each side gets crispy. Squash is done once sides are crispy. Remove from pan once crispy.
- Add chopped kale to pan, and cook until softened and kale begins crisp up. Stir kale often to avoid burning. Remove from pan.
- Add butternut squash, cooked kale, 1 tablespoon of each pistachios and pomegranate aerils (optional) to a plate. Pour pomegranate balsamic salad dressing over salad.
- Serve with pomegranate balsamic marinated pork loin or pork chop. Recipes in notes section.
- If salad dressing hardens, whisk in more pomegranate balsamic vinegar, adding just a bit at a time. This will thin it out.
- Test doneness of butternut squash by piercing a fork into one cube. If it goes in and comes out easily, it's done
- Pomegranate balsamic vinegar recipe
- Pomegranate balsamic marinated pork loin recipe: marinade 2-3 lb pork loin in 2 cups pomegranate balsamic vinegar for 4+ hours. Remove from refrigerator and cook (with marinade) in an Instant Pot on MEAT setting for 15-20 minutes. Check doneness by using an instant read thermometer (it should be 145 degrees)
- Pork chop recipe
- Add goat cheese and chiffonade mint leaves (really thin sliced) for extra flavor
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