Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Friday, January 27, 2012

The things I learned about pomegranate while tossing this Pear Harvest Salad

We fell in love with this Pear Harvest Salad, although the addition of pomegranate seeds in the recipe at first gave me pause. Hubby helped me remove the seeds from the pomegranate. I know pomegranate is BIG right now; it’s said to have antioxidant health benefits and be effective against heart disease and hypertension. I surely didn’t want to leave it out and miss those possible plusses.

I simply couldn’t see how those seeds were going to work in a salad. They looked as if they were the sort of things that would immediately get stuck in your teeth and detract.

When I tossed them in—reluctantly—and bit into my first seed as part of the mix, it unleashed a tiny burst of pomegranate juice that was the perfect tart/sweet addition to the salad. The seed casing then seemed to dissolve in my mouth. I’m pleased to report that not one seed got stuck. I don’t think this salad would be nearly as delicious without it. (Plus the skin from the seeds is thought to add fiber to the diet.)

The recipe called for 4 cups cubed turkey breast, but as I do with many recipes, I subbed cooked chicken breast, which I’m more likely to have on hand. We loved the pear/avocado combo and the topping of blue cheese and honey-roasted sliced almonds. The cider vinegar/honey/Dijon mustard dressing was wonderful.

This would be a scene-stealer salad at a bring-a-dish event or merely one your family will enjoy down to the last morsel in the bowl.

Pear Harvest Salad

2 packages (5-ounces each) spring mix salad greens
4 cups cubed cooked turkey breast (I used chicken breast)
2 medium pears, sliced
1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

6 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup honey-roasted sliced almonds

Divide spring mix among six plates. (I merely put my spring mix in a big salad bowl and tossed all ingredients together instead of dividing the mix.) Layer with turkey, pears, avocado, pomegranate seeds, and onion. Whisk the dressing ingredients; drizzle over salad. Sprinkle with cheese and almonds. Makes 6 servings. (Recipe source: Taste of Home Thanksgiving Recipe Cards)

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