Holiday dishes, with a dash of pomegranate

Years ago, we were invited to join a friend’s family tradition of having a holiday soup buffet with family and friends.

Some were asked to bring a pot of a favorite soup along with the written recipe. The hosts had wonderful salads, crackers, veggie trays, and we all brought holiday goodies.

The holiday lights and soft music made it warm and inviting as we enjoyed good food, lots of laughs and we went home with some new recipes. It has become our Christmas Eve family tradition.

Here are some of our favorite soup buffet go-alongs using special holiday fruit.

Dixie’s Pomegranate/ Citrus Holiday Salad

1 bag of dark salad greens or fresh spinach

2 oranges with peel cut off with knife (taking white membrane also) cut segments in half

Seeds from one pomegranate

Red onion, thinly sliced, to taste

Toasted pecans or walnuts

Jicama slivers, about 1/2 cup (optional)

Toss; add pomegranate vinaigrette (recipe below) to taste

Pomegranate Vinaigrette

From Pomegranateworld.com.

5 tablespoons of pomegranate juice

3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar

1 small minced shallot

1 tablespoon of honey

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper

Combine vinegar, pomegranate juice, honey/ shallot; mix well and let sit for 10 minutes. Whisk in olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste.

Dixie note: Add 1 large clove garlic mashed and minced.

Pomegranate Guacamole Appetizer

1/2 cup chopped onions, red or sweet white

1 serrano and 1 jalapeno chilies finely minced (or more to taste)

3–4 tablespoons fresh lime juice

5 small or 4 large avocados

5 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Mix all ingredients, chill and serve with baked tortilla or corn chips/vegetables. I make my own chips by cutting corn and flour tortillas into pie shaped wedges, place on a greased cookie sheets, top with a light spraying of vegetable cooking spray and baked in a 350 degree oven until slightly browned and crisp or just buy some baked chips and add veggies.

Fred’s Ideal Pomegranate Holiday Dessert

1 large dip of vanilla ice cream or gelato

1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses (recipe below)

Arils (pomegranate seeds)

Chocolate toppings

Whipped cream

Place ice cream in holiday serving dish or wine glass, top with a tablespoon of pomegranate molasses, sprinkle seeds on; top with a small amount of whipped cream and drizzle with chocolate.

Pomegranate Molasses

I learned about this last year.

4 cups of pomegranate juice

1/2 cup of sugar

1/4 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice

In saucepan warm pomegranate juice, sugar and lemon juice on medium high until sugar’s dissolved and juice simmers.

Reduce heat; simmer an hour or until juice becomes syrupy/ sticks to back of spoon. It should reduce to about 1 1/4 cup.

Pour in jar; cool. Store in refrigerator.

Speaking of soup:

You’ll get many ideas for a soup buffet at Palisade’s Olde Fashioned Christmas Celebration’s Soup Challenge.

From 1-3 p.m. Saturday taste all the soups and vote for your favorite. Cost is $3.

Soup Challenge Contestants:

626 on Rood—Japanese Pumpkin and Garlic Soup

Red Rose Café—Thai Red Curry Squash

Il Bistro Italiano—Pappa al Pomodoro (Tuscan Tomato Bread Soup)

Kannah Creek Brewing Co.—Chili Verde con Cerdo (Pork Green Chili)

Decadence Gourmet Cheesecakes & Catering—El Nino Del El Diablo

Mumzels—Curried Turkey Soup

The soup continues in Palisade: 2:30-5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Fireman’s Chili Cook Off and 4-6 p.m. at Altrusa Club’s Soups at Slice O Life Bakery.


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