Most visitors to the St. George area have never heard of Dixie salad, popular during the Thanksgiving holiday – considered “a must” by some. Dixie salad, like so many of the favorite dishes we enjoy throughout the year came about as the result of “necessity as the mother of invention.” Our early pioneers had a variety of fruits, such as apples, raisins, pomegranates and nuts on hand around Thanksgiving; and, they also had cream from cows in their backyard.
St. George is known as Utah’s Dixie because of our hot summer weather, and our mild winters. Our popular Dixie salad is another pioneer recipe which evolved from the poverty of this area in its early days. Dixie salad can have many additions of different fruits but the following recipe is the “pure” Southern Utah version using only the ingredients found here in our community. You can adjust portions and ingredients to suit your taste preferences. Some “locals” add bananas and pineapple to the basics.
1 c pomegranate seeds (about 2 pomegranates)
2 c chopped apples (about 2 medium)
1 c chopped pecans
1 c whipping cream
2-4 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Whip cream with sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form.
Combine pomegranates, apples, pecans (and any additional desired fruit). Gently fold in whipped cream. Garnish with a few pomegranate seeds.
NOTE: To seed the pomegranate (with as little mess as possible), cut a cross in the base of the pomegranate down to but not into the seeds. Carefully pull the cross open, breaking the pomegranate in half. Gently break sections away from each half, pulling the skin back and turning the pomegranate inside out; gently nudge the seeds from the exposed section. Work over or in water, dropping the seeds into the water as you go. The pithy membrane and bits of skin will float to the surface of the water and can easily be skimmed away leaving intact the juicy kernels. Later in the pomegranate season, the skin becomes dry and the fruit is hard to break open. Place the pomegranate in water to soak before following the directions above.
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