Radicchio, Watercress and Witlof Salad with Pomegranate Dressing

When I was preparing our Christmas Eve dinner where glazed ham and crispy potatoes roasted in duck fat were two compulsory menu items, I needed something to bring a little colour.  And I knew pomegranate seeds could do just that.  

I’ve always loved the taste of pomegranates but I’m even more impressed with the colour of them.  They seem to add a brilliant sparkle to any dish.  I think they’re also very appropriate for Christmas dishes, with their brilliant, shiny and crimson red colouring.

Pomegranate action and a slightly charred ham - it certainly wasn't as bad as it looks!

Sprinkling the pomegranate seeds

Due to racing down to the local mall to finish off the last of my Christmas shopping, then spending the afternoon food shopping, there was certainly no time for recipe development so I turned to my trusty friends at Taste and found this colourful salad recipe.

I’m not usually a fan of radicchio as I’m not keen on the bitter flavour.  Nor am I usually all that keen on watercress as my mother used to grow it and so there was a lot of it in our salads and being a child I wasn’t a fan of that slightly peppery flavour.  As for witlof, that’s a vegetable I’m aware of but have rarely used.

Given the above it’s a wonder I made this salad but rushing about on Christmas Eve like a chicken with its head chopped off will do strange things to you.  And I’m very glad I turned strange because this salad is now on my list of favourites.

The dressing compliments the bitter and peppery leaves so very well that you’ll be very grateful this is not poured over the humble iceberg lettuce.  The salty feta also works well with the bitter leaves and pistachios and pomegranates are always a winning combination.

The Taste version of the salad didn’t have pomegranate seeds in the salad.  Unbelievable.  I think they’re a must-have; they finish off the presentation of the salad beautifully and of course, work with the dressing.

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this salad to anyone.  If you’re having trouble finding pomegranate molasses, look up Herbies as that’s the brand I bought and you could ask them where it’s stocked.  I found it in Morgans Fine Foods at Mona Vale as on Christmas Eve I also needed to fit in a trip to the Northern Beaches (40 minutes from home).

And I am sorry the photos aren’t better.  It was situation chaos in the kitchen and I wasn’t thinking I’d be posting this recipe but have done so because it was so good and because some of you requested it – thanks for the feedback!

Radicchio and watercress salad with pomegranate molasses dressing

Radicchio and watercress salad with pomegranate dressing

Radicchio, Watercress and Witlof Salad with Pomegranate Dressing:

Serves:  10

Degree of Difficulty:  1/5

Cost:  A moderately priced salad.

  • 2 tbsns pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tbspn lemon juice
  • 2 tbspns olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, bruised
  • 1 radicchio, leaves torn
  • 1 bunch watercress, sprigs picked
  • 2 yellow and 1 red witlof, leaves separated
  • 250g marinated goat’s cheese or feta, crumbled
  • 50g pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 pomegranate, seeds only

Whisk pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, oil and garlic, then set aside. Discard garlic before serving.

Place on a platter, scatter with cheese, pistachios, and pomegranate seeds.  Drizzle remaining dressing over.  Serve immediately.

Radicchio and watercress salad with pomegranate molasses dressing

Radicchio and watercress salad with pomegranate molasses dressing

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  1. Any salad which features pomegranate, pistachio and feta has got to be a winner!!! …but lol, it is strange that you settled on this salad with the leafy misgivings 🙂 I will have to try it… your version of course with the pomegranate.

    Merry Christmas, I hope you had a wonderful day.

  2. Interesting recipe. I am not a huge fan of radicchio either!

  3. Thanks for the recipe, it looks fabulous and I think the addition of pomegranate seeds is inspired.

  4. There are so many unique elements to this salad. I’ve never heard of witlof (and am unlikely ever to find it here in Ontario, Canada) but I have heard of watercress … especially as a sandwich filling enjoyed for afternoon teas. I’ve enjoyed a similar salad with baby arugula, frisee, radicchio and pomegranate seeds in the past and it was very tasty.


  5. I think we all understand chaos in the kitchen at Christmas. We’re nearly through the silly season and frankly I can’t wait for things to settle down.

    I feel the same way that you do about bitter greens. Maybe I should try this and get a new favourite. 🙂 It does look good.

  6. Thanks Charlie, I will definitely try this.

  7. I’m so glad to see some salads around food blogs right now – I need the inspiration after all of the holiday food. This one looks very nice indeed!

  8. Wow, this looks terrific. And I agree with you the color of pomegranate, particularly the seeds, is out of this world. And chaos in the kitchen on Christmas? Welcome to the club! 😀

  9. Oooh waw, I love this tasty looking salad! My lunch for tomorrow: healthy & satisfying too!

    Yummmmmmm! 🙂 xxx

  10. It’s a beautiful salad! Salads from watercress are my absolute favorite in the winter. They look so pretty with the pomegranate but I also like them with red pears.

  11. Sounds like a great combination of flavours. I would have trouble finding some of those greens in the local supermarket and would have to go further afield. Also the pomegranate molasses would have me stumped. You did well to assemble all the ingredients for this recipe while in such a rush. I agree that pomegranate seeds do lift any dish.

  12. Pomegranates really are like jewels and finish the outfit perfectly! Love this salad and I don’t mind the leaves so I would really like this! Sounds like a great Christmas celebration.

  13. Ooh, a new green to try! May have to sample your dressing on arugula till I can locate the witlof 🙂

  14. What a lovely salad and I love how the pomegrates make it look so festive 🙂 The only trouble is I don’t know how to deseed them hehe!

  15. What a yummy looking salad, and the tastes would be delicious indeed! Bitter really needs that touch of sweet to bring out the best in them, and pomegranate molasses is divine. Your feast looks splendid sweetie, and I bet it was gobbled up in moments 🙂 xox

  16. Hi Charlie, that salad is something I would only make with your recommendation as I am not fond of radicchio because of its bitterness. I have pomegranate molasses in my pantry, I think this would be a nice change to the kale salad I’ve been obsessed with. I am not familiar with whitlof, I shall research it. Thanks for the recipe. Happy New Year and all the best for 2014!

  17. Thanks lady! Hope to make this soon x

  18. All my favorite ingredients wrapped up in one salad….YUM, Charlie, true!
    What a great side salad any time of the year and love pomegranates…think would be nice with dried sulphate free cherries too! Cheers! Joanne

  19. OMG witlof comes under the same umbrella as brussel sprouts – dislike dislike dislike….. My mum loved both witlof and brussel sprouts and were made to sit at the table to eat them, as an adult they are two veges I refuse to eat oh and broad beans…. Have an awesome New Year 🙂

  20. It might take a little searching up to find pomegranate molasses, but this looks well worth the effort. I agree, the pomegranate seeds really add sparkle to a salad.. they are so pretty contrasting with the white of the cheese. I hope you had a wonderful and more restful Christmas, Charlie.. here’s to 2014!! xx

  21. This is indeed a really nice salad. I love the components. I had to look up witlof, however,as we call it Belgian Endive. I think that’s funny…those two words couldn’t be any further apart, but this is a winner recipe, Charlie. I adore a good salad. 🙂

  22. I don’t know that I’ve ever eaten pomegranates let alone heard of pomegranate molasses. I always learn so much about different foods from you.

  23. Pomegranates dress things up beautifully don’t they? Their only downside is a tendency towards messiness – which fortunately doesn’t show at all in your salad!

  24. Pom molasses is one of those ingredients I could eat on cardboard and be happy. Lovely salad.

  25. Mm, I made a pomegranate salad for Christmas as well… love pomegranate. My father-in-law had some pomegranate molasses as well, like you, which made for a fantastic vinaigrette so I can totally relate to this fab flavour combo!

    I gotta say though, I desperately want to sink my teeth into that ham!

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