Combine the lettuce, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the lettuce and toss until well combined. Evenly divide the salad among six plates. Top each serving with 1/4 cup of the pecans and 2 tablespoons of pomegranate seeds, if using. Arrange a wedge of Cambozola cheese on each salad and serve immediately.
Yields about 1 1/2 cups
Cut the pomegranates in half and place in a large bowl. Using the back of a large spoon, hit the outside of the pomegranate halves to remove the seeds. Reserve the seeds and discard the pith that separates the seed clumps.
Set a fine-meshed sieve or strainer over a medium bowl. Place half of the pomegranate seeds into the strainer and press the seeds with a rubber spatula to remove any juice. Discard the solids (you should have about 1/3 cup of pomegranate juice). Add the remaining pomegranate seeds to the juice and stir in the shallots and vinegar. Slowly drizzle the olive oil into the juice mixture while whisking constantly until all of the oil in incorporated. Stir in the thyme, parsley and chives and season the vinaigrette with the salt and pepper. The vinaigrette can be used immediately or refrigerated in an airtight container for up to two days.
Yields about 2 cups
Preheat the oven to 300°F. Combine the butter, brown sugar, water, cayenne pepper and salt in a large, ovenproof skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved.
Add the pecans and toss until well coated. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the pecans are golden brown and toasted. Using a heat-proof rubber spatula, transfer the pecan mixture to a baking sheet and set aside to cool completely.
Separate the pecans, if needed, and use immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to four days.