Fall is a transitional season in both weather and food. It eases us into winter, and certain fruits and vegetables come in and out of season. In this salad, I was trying to eat as much avocado as I could before they went out of season for the winter and got much harder to find and more expensive! Pomegranates, however, were coming into season and I wanted to combine that as well since they have such a delicious and interesting flavor. I had some difficulty with a dressing for this one, since it was so packed with awesome flavors that I didn’t want to overpower. I went with a simple citrus vinaigrette that was okay, but I later had a better idea that I would use if I were to remake this one, so I’ll include that recipe instead. I love salads because you can prepare as much or as little as you want, depending on how many people you have and whether it’s a side dish or the main event. I made this one as a dinner for two, so feel free to adjust the recipe measurements to suit your needs.
What You’ll Need:
spinach (according to the amount of salad you want)
mandarin oranges (as much as you want, clementines would be awesome too!)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup feta cheese
for the dressing:
3 T olive oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
salt & pepper to taste
I like to start with the dressing, so I can set it aside and taste it after it’s had some time to mix in and marinate the flavors. I like doing that with just about everything, actually. I eat as I cook. Or as I watch TV. Or as I do just about anything. I appreciate food, okay? Anyway, back to this salad. Once you combine the olive oil and lemon juice in a nice airtight container (good for both shaking and storing), it’s probably a good time to work on taking apart the pomegranate. I’ve seen lots of posts and videos online about the best way to open a pomegranate, but personally I’ve found the best way is to cut off the top, slice down the sides, and invert the wedges that you end up with. The seeds practically fall out, so doing this over a bowl is probably a good idea. Next, cut the avocado. I like to wait until the last minute to do that to avoid browning.
Once that’s done, your salads are pretty much ready to be assembled. Distribute washed spinach leaves into your bowls, top with chopped walnuts, mandarin orange wedges, avocado cubes, and pomegranate seeds. Sprinkle on some feta cheese, and drizzle in your super-simple-but-super-delicious lemon “vinaigrette” dressing. It’s easy to throw a salad together, and this is definitely one that doesn’t take much preparation at all. It would probably go well with some grilled chicken if you wanted to add some protein. I didn’t have any apples when I made this, but those are also great in winter salads as well!