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Back to Reality: Arugula Goat Cheese Salad with Grilled Shrimp and Pomegranates


August 27, 2012

Recipe: Arugula Goat Cheese Salad with Grilled Shrimp and Pomegranates

Thank you all for the birthday wishes. It was a grand day indeed complete with soaking up sunshine, ice cubes clinking against margarita filled glasses, and a seemingly never-ending stream of great friends, great food, and great fun.


The ever addictive Truffle Popcorn.

Fresh Spring Rolls, Sesame Noodle Boxes, and Goat Cheese Crostini.

Fresh Spring Rolls, Sesame Noodle Boxes, and Goat Cheese Crostini.

As an “adult” (whatever that means) I think I am supposed to have reached a state of general maturity and evolution so as to not feel disappointed when my birthday is over. But alas, between you and me, I’m not there yet. I love the anticipation and the excitement and the planning. And then I love the day…and then it is over, with simply a mysterious bruise or two and a full recycle bin as evidence.

Agave Margarita Bar

CJ’s Agave Margarita Bar.

Never one to pout and pity party for (too) long, I inevitably find myself back in the kitchen, slowly stirring, and chopping, and whisking the lurking gray clouds away.

This salad screams Summer! And Fun! And Self-Righteously-Healthy! It is literally impossible to be grumpy while eating this salad, as the spicy arugula is paired with the burst in your mouth pomegranate seeds, countered by the smooth taste of goat cheese, and punctuated with a bite of a pine nut. Make this when reality has returned, but you’re not quite willing to give into it yet.

GIVEAWAY WINNER: Many thanks to all who shared the Eggplant Carpacio recipe. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and more were buzzing…but despite my wish that everyone win a bottle of Olive Oil, there could only be one winner. And that winner is…Bonnie K who shared via Twitter!

Arugula Salad with Grilled Shrimp, Pomegranate, Pine Nuts, and Goat Cheese
Serves 2

Arugula Salad topped with Grilled Shrimp, Pomegranate, Goat Cheese, and Pine Nuts

Arugula Goat Cheese Salad with Grilled Shrimp and Pomegranates

  • 12 jumbo shrimp, tail on, shell off, thawed
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil + 2 TB
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 5 cups baby arugula, loosely packed
  • 1/3 cup Pomegranate seeds (Trader Joes sells them ready to go if you like)
  • 1/4 cup Pine Nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
  1. Preheat grill until 500 degrees
  2. In a small bowl combine the shrimp, 3 of the cloves of garlic, and 2 TB of olive oil. Let marinade at least 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, to make the dressing combine the remaining olive oil, garlic, balsamic, honey, and egg yolk. With a whisk or immersion blender, blend until well combined and slightly emulsified.
  4. Reduce grill to half heat, and cook until pink, approximately 2-3 minutes per side. Note: Most people over cook their shrimp…it takes hardly any time and you want then to stay juicy.
  5. To serve, plate the arugula, pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and goat cheese. Top with shrimp and drizzle with dressing.

Plating the Salad…so pretty.


  1. Kimi says:

    Looks awesome! Does Trader Joe’s have the pomegranate seeds just for a few months or are they available all year long?

    Thank you!


    • Hi Kimi,

      Thanks for stopping by! I believe they are a year-round thing, pending on where you are in the country. I’ve always seen them at the TJ’s in Seattle year-round anyway.

      They are a little spendy ($4/box or close to), but given how easy they are and how far they go I feel like sometimes it’s worth the splurge.

      Any other favorite salad recipes you’d care to share??!

  2. emmycooks says:

    What a good-looking party spread! No wonder you’re sorry it’s over. 🙂

  3. Allison says:

    Wow, that picnic and that salad both look fantastic!

  4. Karista says:

    What a fabulous looking birthday bash! Yum! And well deserved my dear. You just continue on and party your heart out every year. 🙂

  5. Ann Mah says:

    This salad looks lovely but I think I’m hung up on the truffle popcorn. Truffle popcorn recipe??!!

    • Oh lady…it is so addictive it should be illegal. I like to make mine via getting truffle oil, putting half truffle oil, half vegetable oil in a pan…popping it normally, then tossing with truffle oil and a little butter and salting to taste. It is ridiculous…prepare to want to eat nothing else for a few days.

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