Padma Lakshmi, co-host of Bravo's Top Chef, updates classic Caprese salad by combining fresh mozzarella with juicy pomegranate arils and refreshing mint leaves. The colorful dish is an elegant and easy holiday starter or side salad.
The pomegranate can be seeded up to 2 days ahead of time and chilled in the refrigerator—ask your kids to help. Here, Padma shares her tips for how to peel a pomegranate:
First of all, you need to wear an old shirt that you don’t mind getting permanently stained. With a sharp paring knife, split the fruit in half, then into quarters; it will bleed red liquid all over; so be sure to use a large cutting board and have paper towels handy to sop up the liquid. Now, with your fingers, gently free the garnet seeds of fruit from the white pith. If you pull outside ends of the quarter of fruit apart, some will pop out easily, but you will have to carefully remove the white webbed covering. The remaining seeds will be clustered in groups and attached to the white pith. Gently pry them off into a bowl. Make sure there are no white bits clinging to the seeds. If covered, they will keep in the fridge for up to four or five days.
- 2 cups fresh mozzarella cheese in water, pearls or cubed, drained
- 2 cups fresh pomegranate seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon sliced serrano chiles
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- Kosher salt and crushed black pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped or torn fresh mint leaves, for serving
In a large bowl, combine mozzarella and pomegranate seeds.
Add chiles, oil, vinegar, lime juice and stir.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir well again.
Garnish with mint just before serving. Serve chilled or at room temperature.