In this colorful and vibrant salad I combined a harvest of winter foods, which are commonly forgotten about. Pomegranate seeds are on top of my list. I love hoarding these colorful beauties all winter long, tossing them on top of salads or on top of yogurt. Many people are turned off by the idea of eating just the seeds of a fruit, but unlike other fruits, pom seeds are packed with flavor and give a powerful contrast of flavor to any dish. These small seeds also pack a powerful nutritional punch! Vitamins include C, which helps increase immunity (fight flu season!) and vitamin K which helps the body control bleeding. These super seeds have additionally been known to fight aging and increase the metabolism. Another delicious addition to this salad is citrus, winters own seasonal fruit! Clementines, a natural package all wrapped up in a sweet little bundle and packed with even more vitamin C! I love clementines and I do get a little sad when they go out of season for good. Grapefruit is a little less seasonal, it is often overlooked due to its reputation of being overly tart, but with the right ingredients grapefruit can truly shine! Grapefruit also has some very important detoxing properties which can really help you get going in the morning! Chickpeas, lastly but not least, give this salad an important dose of protein and fiber. Chickpeas (and many other beans) are also known for their aid in controlling the appetite. The dressing I paired with this salad has both notes of sweet and salty to balance out the strong citrus flavor. When I am pressed for time, I usually make a quick dressing that works on any salad, tahini and lemon juice.
A Colorful Winter Salad
1 cup mixed greens of your choice (I used some mixed baby winter greens kale, chard, and spinach)
1/3 large seasonal apple, thinly sliced
1/3 cup fresh pomegranate seeds*
1 large clementine, peeled
1/2 large white or red grapefruit, peeled and chopped
1 large handful raw or toasted walnuts (if you are nut-free, use pumpkin seeds instead)
1/3 cup cooked chickpeas
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbs tahini
1/2 tbs honey
1/2 tbs soy sauce
First, gather all your ingredients. For the salad dressing combine the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, honey and tahini in a small jar and shake to combine. If you cannot find a jar, simply add it to a bowl and whisk to combine.
Arrange the salad greens on a plate and start topping them by adding the citrus fruits, walnuts, chickpeas, and apple slices. Then, top it off with the pomegranate seeds and homemade dressing. Another great addition to this salad (if you do not care about it being vegan) would be some hard cheese like manchego or parmesan. Enjoy alongside some crusty toast or homemade cornbread, then there you have it!
*Here is the trick to getting out pomegranate seeds (without staining your favorite shirt)! First, fill a medium mixing bowl with filtered water. Next, cut the pomegranate into quarters on a cutting board. Now, submerge 1/4 of the pomegranate into the water (seed side facing away from you) and start pushing/ breaking the seeds apart. The fresh seeds will sink to the bottom, the white pulp and icky seeds will float to the top. Repeat this with the remaining pomegranate quarters, and strain out the seeds when you are done!