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This pretty Spinach Pomegranate Salad is the best winter salad. It's full of juicy pomegranate, toasted hazelnuts, and mint and tossed in a maple balsamic dressing. You will LOVE it!
I have the prettiest ever winter salad recipe for you. And all the red, green, and white will make it the star of the table, whether you're serving this on a Monday evening or at Christmas dinner.
It's also easy to prep the parts ahead of time so if you're serving this to a crowd, you can simply toss and serve.
You'll love this pomegranate salad
- Tart, sweet, and crunchy pomegranate jewels that are as pretty as they are tasty.
- Toasted hazelnuts make a winter salad feel special.
- A pop of fresh mint to brighten things up every few bites.
- A simple maple balsamic dressing that is all things delicious.
- A salad with pomegranate seeds is just so much better than one without.
A salad with pomegranate seeds feels special. I don't know if it's because pomegranates are the one thing that is hard to find out of season, or if it's their pretty bright color, but they make dinner feel festive.
The last time I served this pomegranate salad it sat next to some pan-seared chicken on my plate. It made a simple dinner memorable.
And then there are the hazelnuts. They're the one nut I rarely ever use so they also feel special. Maybe it's because winter is the only time I see them on the shelves. I was determined to share a few hazelnut recipes with you this year as the only one I have on this blog is Cauliflower ‘Polenta' with Mushrooms and Hazelnuts that I shared with you YEARS ago. (And if you haven't yet made it, you totally should!)
Make Ahead Pomegranate Salad
Making your own salad dressing, toasting hazelnuts, and removing all 618 ish pomegranate seeds is a bit too much to do last minute if you're making a big dinner for friends and family. Luckily, all these things can be made ahead of time.
To make this salad ahead of time:
- Make the salad dressing up to a week ahead and store it in a jar in your fridge. Give the jar a good shake to re-emulsify the dressing before you use it.
- Remove the seeds from the pomegranate and store them in a covered container in your fridge for 3-4 days.
- Toast and chop the hazelnuts ahead of time and store them in a container in your pantry. And toast extra while you're at it. They keep well for many weeks so you can sprinkle them into your dinner salads all month.
Before your guests arrive for dinner, add the spinach, mint, pomegranate seeds, hazelnuts, and (if you're using it) the parmesan to a big salad bowl. I even put the jar of salad dressing and the salad tongs into the bowl cause I'm a big time prep nerd when throwing a dinner party.
Just before serving dinner, pour the dressing into the bowl, toss, and serve.
How to remove seeds from a pomegranate
There are tons of different ideas about how to best remove seeds from a pomegranate, and I've tried them all. I wish I could tell you that there is a fast and easy way, but here are the only two things I have found that really work well:
When I'm cooking, I usually move quickly in the kitchen. But it comes to removing seeds from a pomegranate, I force myself to slow down. It's a welcome little zen moment.
This is the how I deseed a pomegranate – courtesy of a pamphlet that came with a pomegranate I once bought:
- Cut the top and bottom off the pomegranate.
- Score the pomegranate into quarters (don't cut all the way through)
- Twist the pomegranate apart. Scoring the pomegranate first makes this possible and leaves all the seeds intact.
- Once your pomegranate is in quarters, give yourself 10 leisurely minutes to remove the seeds. Don't hurry this step, simply enjoy the 10 minutes you have to do nothing other than think about the task at hand. And make sure to snack on a few of the seeds while you're at it.
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Favorite winter salad recipes:
- Arugula and Wild Rice Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing
- Crispy Kale Salad with Roasted Beets and Spicy Candied Pecans
- Creamy Kale Salad with Maple Tahini Dressing
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad
- Baby Kale Salad with Pomegranate Seeds and Spicy Pecans
Maple Balsamic Dressing
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
- A pinch of salt and pepper
Spinach Pomegranate Salad
- 5 ounces baby spinach leaves
- ½ cup mint leaves
- Seeds from 1 pomegranate
- ¾ cup hazelnuts (toasted and chopped)
- Optional: ½ cup shaved parmesan cheese
- Place all the Maple Balsamic Dressing in a jar and shake to combine.2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, ½ teaspoon dijon mustard, A pinch of salt and pepper
- Add the salad ingredients to a large salad bowl, pour the dressing over the top, and toss to coat.5 ounces baby spinach leaves, ½ cup mint leaves, Seeds from 1 pomegranate, ¾ cup hazelnuts, Optional: ½ cup shaved parmesan cheese
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.