Arugula salad with quince, pomegranate, and pecans

Total Time
20 min
8 min
12 min
This simple and vibrant salad features quinces. If you've never used them before, quinces are greenish-yellow and resemble lumpy pears. Although available year-round, California-grown quinces are usually in stores in the autumn. Choose those that are free of blemishes and discolorations. When ripe, they turn pale yellow and remain quite hard but exude a delicate, sweet floral aroma. In this recipe, they're flavored with a savory, sweet mixture of pomegranate juice, honey, cider vinegar, and ground cardamom. Toss together with arugula, pecans, pomegranate seeds, and a homemade vinaigrette, and you'll find yourself making this gorgeous-looking salad over and over again.


Pomegranate juice

1 cup(s), unsweetened or cranberry juice

Grated Pecorino Romano cheese

1½ oz, about 3 Tbsp


2 Tbsp

Cider vinegar

1½ Tbsp

Ground cardamom

¼ tsp, or cinnamon

Uncooked quince

½ pound(s), ripe, or Golden Delicious apple

Olive oil

2 tsp


1 clove(s), lightly crushed with side of large knife

Table salt

½ tsp

Black pepper

¼ tsp


5 oz, (1 container), baby variety

Unsalted pecan halves

¼ cup(s), toasted and broken into pieces

Pomegranate seeds

¼ cup(s)


  1. Whisk together pomegranate juice, honey, vinegar, and cardamom in medium saucepan.
  2. Peel and quarter quince; cut out fuzzy core and seeds. Cut each quarter into 4 or 5 wedges and add to pomegranate-juice mixture; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until quince is tender, about 12 minutes. (If using apple, cook until softened, about 5 minutes.) Remove pan from heat; with slotted spoon, transfer quince to small bowl. Reserve poaching liquid.
  3. To make vinaigrette, add oil, garlic, salt, and pepper to poaching liquid; bring to boil and cook until reduced to about 1/3 cup, about 8 minutes. Discard garlic. Let cool to room temperature.
  4. Toss together arugula, quince, pecans, pomegranate seeds, and vinaigrette in large salad bowl until coated evenly with vinaigrette. Divide salad evenly among 6 plates and top with cheese shavings.
  5. Per serving: about 1 1/2 cups