Those fall colors though! I love salads like this that are beautifully colorful and taste amazing! This Mandarin Pomegranate and Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing is great way to use up the produce in season right now and it’s just bursting with so much juicy freshness in every bite. It is a perfect side dish to your favorite autumn meals and it would definitely be the hit of any get together (it’s like that strawberry spinach salad that’s always the first to go). If you are making it for a bigger group I’d definitely double it, which is the amount I was going to share but I realized I always make salads too big for day to day meals so sometimes it makes more sense to keep them scaled down.
I recently spotted the first good pomegranates of the season a few weeks ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. Even though I already miss all of the fresh summer berries I’m so glad there’s still apples, pears, pomegranates and oranges to look forward to this time of year.
It wasn’t until later in life that I tried pomegranates for the first time and at first I thought they were such a pain to seed (if that’s the correct term?). My brother has a pomegranate tree in his backyard and he showed me the most efficient way to get all those juicy little arils out but it still seemed somewhat complicated (something about slicing then scoring then tapping them out) so I still just do it the old fashioned way buy cutting in half then kind of tearing the halves to sort of expose them more then I pick them out in clumps. Whatever works best for you right? I’ll have to have my brother show me again though because his way was faster than mine.
Even if it took 30 minutes to get those arils out it would be worth it for this salad (luckily it doesn’t take that long though :). This is definitely a salad I’ll make again and again, especially as we near the holidays.
I love the pairing of mandarin oranges, pomegranates and the two types of nuts in this salad. Then I love the balance the creamy poppy seed dressing and avocados offer to that light zip. It really is such a good salad, you just need to see for yourself! And feel free to add in some feta if you can’t resist adding a little cheese.
Mandarin Pomegranate Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing
Yield: 4 servings
- 5 oz baby spinach
- 3 mandarin oranges (10 oz), peeled and segmented
- 3/4 cup pomegranate arils*
- 1 medium avocado , diced
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds , toasted
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup light mayonnaise (tested with Hellman's light)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp poppy seeds
- 1 Tbsp milk , if needed
For the dressing
In a small mixing bowl whisk together vinegar, sugar and salt until sugar and salt have dissolved. Add mayonnaise, honey and poppy seeds and whisk until combined. Mix in milk to thin if desired. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.
For the salad:
In a salad bowl layer spinach, mandarine oranges, pomegranate arils, avocado, almonds and walnuts. Pour desired amount of dressing over top (or alternately just dress each serving). Serve immediately.
*If you want to make this in the summer it's also good with a small pkg. of fresh raspberries in place of the pomegranate arils.
Recipe source: Cooking Classy