For fifteen years, a group of girlfriends have gathered the first Saturday in December to catch up and do a Christmas ornament party. It’s alway a potluck. This year I made a colorful pomegranate spinach salad as my dish to share. We laugh, share the highs and lows of the year, then we enjoy our buffet. We always have a wonderful time. The salad came out so beautiful I wanted to share the recipe with you.
Pomegranate Spinach Salad
This salad has it all: crisp leafy spinach greens, crunchy walnuts, sweet-tart ruby pomegranate seeds, protein from hard boiled eggs and crisp bacon crumbles, plus slivers of red onion for color and an easy pomegranate vinaigrette. From a health standpoint, this salad is packed with nutrition and it tastes terrific.
A Few Ingredient Tips
- Spinach leaves – choose either the bagged or clamshell container of baby leaves. Usually spinach is pre-washed, but a quick wash at home is s good idea. I use Eat Cleaner to wash all my produce. It works great and extends the life of your produce.
- Bacon – Choose either turkey or pork bacon that is uncured, organic, and nitrate-free. For vegetarians, just skip the bacon. To cook bacon in the oven, line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, top with a wire cooking rack, and top with raw bacon strips. Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes on each side, or until golden and crisp. Cool and crumble.
- Eggs – Hard boiled eggs take 15 minutes plus a dunk in ice water. Read here on how to make perfect hard boiled eggs.
- Pomegranate seeds – Many markets carry pomegranate seeds ready to enjoy in the refrigerated produce department. If you can’t find them, buy a pomegranate and open it yourself. It’s easy. For how to open a pomegranate, read here. Just be sure to wear an apron as those beautiful seeds really stain
- Goat cheese – If you are dairy-sensitive, obviously skip this ingredient or use a plant-based alternative.
The general rule for making vinaigrettes is one part of acid (vinegar) to three parts of fat (oil). I used pomegranate vinegar from Trader Joe’s, extra virgin olive oil, a teaspoon of maple syrup and a little Dijon mustard to help the dressing hold together and make it a bit creamy. Here’s on on Amazon. Taste the vinaigrette and adjust for yourself. I added a little more vinegar for more tang. A little salt and pepper and you are good to go. If you can’t find pomegranate vinegar, substitute red wine vinegar or other fruit vinegar, like cherry. Ever make your own flavored vinegar? It’s fun!
For most people, spinach is a great add to your diet, but it is high in natural compounds called oxalates. If you suffer with kidney or gallbladder issues, check with your healthcare provider before consuming spinach.
Pomegranate Spinach Salad
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 teaspoons pomegranate vinegar substitute red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon real maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 pinches sea salt
- 2 pinches ground black pepper
- 6-8 ounces clean baby spinach leaves
- 4 ounces goat cheese crumbles
- 1/3 cup chopped walnut pieces about 2 ounces
- 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
- 4-6 strips bacon (nitrate-free) cooked crisp, crumbled
- 2 hard boiled eggs peeled and chopped
- 1/4 small red onion sliced thin
- Start by making the vinaigrette. Add the oil, vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, salt and pepper to a small bowl and whisk until smooth.
- Add spinach leaves to a large bowl and toss with the dressing. Scatter the cheese, walnuts, seeds, bacon, egg and onion over the top and toss again and serve family style or on four individual plates.