Pomegranate is one I thing I just LOVE about this season. There’s a lot I love about December, but as usual, I’m running a little behind with things. We haven’t put up the tree, I’ve got more than a few gifts left to buy, and no, I haven’t even thought about Christmas cards yet. But it’s not that much pressure, I just have to do all that AND make every day magical for the whole family. It’s not like that’s hard or anything.
I’m not worrying about it too much though, and instead I’m focusing on the little things, like enjoying all the seasonal flavors that help make the days a little brighter. And because I LOVE pomegranate, I’m eating them all the time, pretty much every day. I really love the bright pop pomegranate gives to dishes, especially seasonal salads like this one. Even though salads might feel like summer to some, I think the right winter-y flavors make chilly nights feel so cozy — like my Broccoli & Bacon salad, or my Grilled Chicken & Roasted Grape salad, too!
I’ve seen about a billion tutorials on how to cut a pomegranate, and I have to say, most of them are garbage. Am I really going to stand there for 15 minutes and hit the pomegranate a million times with the back of a wooden spoon until every aril gently falls into a bowl of water? Sorry, no. Here’s a shocker – I’ve got other stuff to do. And I don’t mind if a few of the pomegranate seeds aren’t perfectly in tact. So here’s how I cut and open pomegranates that actually takes about 2 minutes, and yes, does occasionally leave a little juice behind on your cutting board. But that’s never bothered me one bit.
How to Cut & Deseed a Pomegranate:
1. Slice the top half inch of the pomegranate off (this is where you may cut through a couple of arils. I don’t sweat it, but if you prefer not to, you can cut a little less off, and it just requires a little more hand strength when separating the sections.)
2. Find where the white membranes separate the sections (they’re found along the ridges that you can see on the skin). There are usually 5-7.
3. With a paring knife, carefully score the flesh from the top to the bottom along each membrane.
4. Over a bowl, pry the sections apart in your hands and remove any membranes.
5. Carefully push and flex the skin of each section so the arils begin to pop out. Remove any other seeds with your hands.
I know, I know, this isn’t perfect, but it’s what works for me.
I made this winter salad with pomegranate and some of the other amazing flavors I love – avocado, spinach, red onion, and goat cheese, and served it with a super simple balsamic dressing, which is basically my go-to dressing for everything. Keep that recipe in your back pocket, k? And just remember not to cut the avocado or dress the salad until just before serving!
I think it’d be a perfect salad for a holiday party or get-together, or just for a casual dinner at home. And if you like this, be sure to try my prosciutto wrapped pears recipe!
Pomegranate & Avocado Winter Salad
A delicious gluten free salad made with spinach and baby kale, avocado, pomegranate arils, red onion and goat cheese, then topped with a simple balsamic vinaigrette.
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 2 cups baby kale
- 1 cup pomegranate arils
- 1 avocado
- 1/4 red onion
- 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1 clove garlic minced
Make the Salad Dressing
Whisk all ingredients together and season with salt and pepper.
Assemble the Salad
De-seed the pomegranate and thinly slice the onion.
Add greens, pomegranate, goat cheese, red onion, and avocado to a large bowl.
Drizzle with vinaigrette, gently toss, and serve immediately.
If you’re preparing this in advance, wait until just before serving to cut the avocado and dress the salad.