The holidays are filled with a ton of sweets and a lot of meat. Turkey, Ham, Prime Rib ( which I think i’m going to do as my centrepiece for Christmas) – and all the baking, I just filled my fridge with marscapone & cream cheese because i’m planning to make tiramisu cookies sometime this week!! Anyway, so last night we had a family baking session where we baked a ton of christmas cookies! Given it ran right up til night time, I decided to toss a simple salad that embraced the spirit of christmas just to keep up with our theme of the night! ps. we were all decked out in our christmas PJS !

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And this is what I came up with. SUPER easy! Fennel, pomegranate, radishes & quinoa were the key ingredients. It tasted surprisingly flavourful considering the very simple ingredients used. It’s a very refreshing salad to go with any heavy meats & will surely decorate your holiday dinner table because it’s so pretty! Ok so here goes!

You will need:

1/4 of a fennel bulb, sliced thinly

Handful of fennel fronds, roughly chopped

Bunch of radishes ( about 6 to 7, washed and diced)

Half a cucumber, diced

1 cup quinoa

Herb de Provence

1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

optional: toasted walnuts! (Mike doesn’t eat nuts so I left them out, but I surely would have loved them!)

Dressing:

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 generous splashes of pomegranate champagne vinegar ( or apple cider vinegar will work too)

4 teaspoons brown sugar

Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

In a pot, add the 1 cup of uncooked quinoa and 2 cups of water. Season with a pinch of salt and pinch of herb de provence. Don’t skip this step because this is what makes every grain of quinoa so flavourful & helps bring out the flavours of the rest of the ingredients! Bring quinoa and water to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until tender for about 15 to 20 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for another 10 minutes covered. Fluff with a fork, set aside.

Prep all vegetables, thinly slicing fennel bulb in long strips, dicing radishes and cucumbers to bite size.

Make the simple pomegranate dressing by adding olive oil, pomegranate champagne vinegar, salt, pepper, and brown sugar to a large mixing bowl. Whisk until well emulsified. Add vegetables to the bowl and toss til evenly coated. Add cooked fluffed up quinoa to the bowl and toss til well coated, breaking up any lumps of quinoa.

Sprinkle half of pomegranate seeds in the bowl and toss. Transfer salad to a serving plate/bowl, and sprinkle the rest of the pomegranate seeds & chopped fennel fronds over the top.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day before serving.