A delicious and healthy salad perfect for winter or a special Christmas dinner. This salad is topped with fresh oranges, pomegranate arils, sliced almonds, chopped avocado, and feta cheese.
Okay confession time…I look forward to Christmas dinner more than Thanksgiving dinner. I know, I know…crazy right? But truth be told, I am not the biggest turkey fan, but I go crazy over ham. And although ham is a popular Thanksgiving menu item, it’s totally a Christmas dinner thing to me. Since I was a little girl we’ve always (or almost always) had a big Christmas ham on the actual day or on Christmas Eve.
Side-note: I’ve been experimenting with a yummy ham recipe (to serve for a party) and as a result we’ve been eating tons of ham. The whole family is pretty much in heaven because we all love it. P.S. I can’t wait to share the recipe I’ve come up with because it resulted in the most tender ham ever and the flavor was incredible. Mmm.
But salad. Back to salad, because ham is for another day coming up shortly…
This salad is absolutely fantastic and a great seasonal dish or side-dish. The dressing for this salad is an easy, throw the ingredients in the blender kind of deal. It’s an orange vinaigrette and so-so good., but not the most ordinary dressing. What I mean by that — it’s not thick and creamy by any means. Which honestly, it’s best that way. The dressing when tossed in the salad adheres to every part of the lettuce and all the ingredients infusing the whole salad with tons of great and fresh citrus flavor.
Another wonderful alternative is poppyseed dressing or another fruity vinaigrette. The husband loved the poppyseed dressing on this one! The one caution with the dressing – wait to pour it on until you are ready to eat the salad. If you pour it on and eat it later you will get a not-so-great soggy salad. And that’s never fun. But right before serving the salad, just toss all the ingredients in the dressing and it will be all ready to be delicious.
Last tip for an AWESOME salad? Lightly toast those almonds. This is a quick step that doesn’t take too long to do with phenomenal results. Just throw the almonds in a skillet (you don’t need to add anything else) and stir them around on medium-low heat. It only takes about 2-3 minutes (sometimes less depending on how much heat they are getting) until they are toasted and smelling quite fragrant. Just make sure you are stirring them around constantly so they don’t have a chance to burn! 🙂
Nothing better than a Christmas ham with this on the side!
- 7-8 cups chopped lettuce (I used an Artisan Blend), arugula would also be great
- 3 regular oranges
- 3/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1 avocado, chopped
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds
- Juice from 1 large orange (~4 tablespoons)
- 3/4 - 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Scant 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Pinch of ground pepper
- Pinch cayenne pepper, optional
- Chop the lettuce, wash, and dry.
- Slice the peels off of the oranges and then cut into slices or smaller pieces. You can substitute clementines, but will need to increase the amount. Alternatively mandarin oranges can be used.
- Remove the peel and pit of the avocado. Squeeze some fresh lemon or lime juice over the chopped avocado to keep it from browning.
- Toss the lettuce, oranges, pomegranate seeds, and avocado.
- In a small skillet over medium-low heat place the almonds. Stir constantly for a few minutes until lightly toasted. This is optional, but adds so much flavor.
- In a blender or food processor, blend all of the dressing ingredients together. The dressing will be runny, but it adheres to the lettuce really well! Increase the flavorings to personal preference - this may be a little more orange or perhaps some more honey...etc.
- If you are eating the salad right away, toss it with the dressing, toasted almonds, and feta cheese.
- If you are eating it later, store the dressing separately and toss right before eating. If the dressing is added too early it tends to get soggy and not taste so well. Add the almonds and feta with the dressing.
- The cayenne pepper is optional, but a fun kick -- you can increase the amount if desired.
Here are some more delicious recipes to add to your holiday menu: