This Christmas salad with pomegranate vinaigrette is my new go-to salad for the holiday season! It’s full of roasted mushrooms and beets, a variety of lettuces, sweet candied walnuts, and tangy blue cheese…plus the juicy, vibrant dressing!
I’d say, this recipe is definitely one of the most beautiful and satisfying salads you could add to your Christmas table. It’s packed to the brim with different flavors – sweet, salty, nutty, earthy – and hidden little gems of texture.
Basically all the things you could ever want for a Christmas salad. Because let’s be honest…if you’re going to put out a salad for a special dinner like Christmas, it better taste and look amazing.
You want it to add value and excitement to the meal, not just be a bowl of boring greens that gets passed up on by most guests. Another one of my favorites is this Rustic Winter Salad…it’s extremely simple and easy to pull together last minute.
A good holiday salad starts with a variety of lettuces as the base. This adds different colors and textures and taste. Here, I’m using a blend of sharp radicchio, bitter arugula, and crisp frisee. I like to add in an element of crunch and bold flavor….hense the watermelon radishes. I also like adding roasted vegetables to any winter salad to bulk it up and make it feel more satisfying. To get the earthy undertones, a scattering of roasted mushrooms and beets goes a long way. These add a hearty component that works perfectly with the sweet pomegranate vinaigrette.
Finally, no Christmas salad would be complete without a couple of exciting garnishes. In this case, addicting candied walnuts and creamy, tangy blue cheese. This combination is so very festive and basically pulls everything together.
And with that, I hope you all are loving every minute of these days before Christmas and that you add this salad to your menu!!
PS…unfortunately, I got hit with the flu this past week (such terrible timing!) so couldn’t get all of the Christmas recipes out this year that I wanted to. But, I do still have a few more I’ll be sharing this weekend, so stay tuned for some last minute inspiration here on the blog and over on Instagram as well!Print
Christmas Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
a festive, satisfying Christmas salad with a sweet pomegranate vinaigrette that is perfect for entertaining during the holiday season
- ¼ cup pomegranate juice
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp honey
- ½ cup vegetable or grapeseed oil
- ¼ cup olive oil
- kosher salt, as needed
- ½ cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ lb halved walnuts (about 2 cups)
- ½ lb cremini mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
- 4 large portobello mushrooms, stemmed
- 4 small red beets, peeled and quartered
- 4 small golden beets, peeled and quartered
- olive oil, as needed
- kosher salt, as needed
- 1 head radicchio, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 head frisee, cored and torn apart (discard any dark, outer leaves)
- 2-3 large handfuls of arugula
- 1 watermelon radish, peeled and thinly sliced on a mandolin
- 1 wedge blue cheese, crumbled
- freshly cracked black pepper, as needed
- Combine the pomegranate juice, white wine vinegar, and honey in a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth.
- Slowly drizzle in both oils until incorporated, whisking continuously. Season with salt to taste.
- Stir in the pomegranate seeds. Set aside or refrigerate until serving.
- Prepare a sheet pan with a piece of foil. Grease the foil with a light coating of oil.
- Combine the brown sugar, water, salt, and cayenne pepper in a large sauté pan over high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and let the mixture cook for a minute or so, until slightly reduced.
- Add the walnuts and stir really well to fully coat. All of the liquid should be thickened and coating the walnuts. Spread the walnuts out onto the greased piece of foil in one even layer.
- Season with another pinch of salt. Let the walnuts cool for 5 minutes. Use a spoon to gently stir the nuts to ensure they aren’t sticking to the foil. Let cool completely.
- Preheat the oven to 425° Toss the cremini mushrooms, portobello mushrooms, and beets with a light drizzle of olive oil (keeping each separate).
- Spread the cremini mushrooms onto a foil-lined sheet pan and season with a pinch of salt. Roast for 8 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a plate lined with paper towels.
- Meanwhile, spread the portobello mushrooms and beets onto a foil-lined sheet pan and season with a pinch of salt. Roast for 15 minutes. Transfer the portobello mushrooms to a plate lined with paper towels.
- Continue to roast the beets for 10 more minutes. Let all the vegetables cool until ready to serve.
- Combine the radicchio, frisee, arugula, and watermelon radishes in a large bowl. Add all of the cooled, roasted vegetables. Toss the salad with the vinaigrette.
- Taste the salad and season as needed with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Plate the salad in a large serving bowl or platter. Garnish with the candied walnuts and crumbled blue cheese.
For a good salad, make sure all of the lettuce and greens are extremely dry so that the vinaigrette really sticks to them. This will prevent the salad from watering down and becoming soggy. Also, make sure to season everything very well. Salt will bring out all the flavors in the salad.