Bursting with flavors of sunshine, clementine, pomegranate arils, roasted beets and greens come together with a tangy citrus balsamic vinaigrette. This delicious winter salad is vegetarian + gluten free + easily vegan.
How’s your week going? It’s starting to feel like Spring around here! I spent some time pulling weeds and assessing the sheer volume of work that’s needed to get the beds, pots and yard in acceptable condition. While I love to garden, Spring can be a little overwhelming due to the all the weeds that have snuck up… and the moss! It’s everywhere this year.
Citrus continues to make its appearance in the house, so much so, I’ve resorted to storing some in the garage, where they’ll keep longer. Although I’m still craving the orange crumble tart, and I’m drinking this citrus green smoothie almost daily, I continue to obsess over citrus. Have you tried the orange tart?
The pomegranate… I hoarded them at the end of January, like shoes at Nordstrom’s shoe sale, or…..
I don’t really hoard shoes, but pomegranate (and citrus)… yes, I hoard. If you see a pom, grab it, like you would shoes at a Nordstrom’s shoe sale (ahem). California poms are about out of season.
I read somewhere they freeze well. I tried it. It didn’t work for me. The arils were soft and lacked the robust flavor of a fresher pom. So, the last few I had on hand, I just let them hang out in the fridge until the skin got a bit pale and wrinkly.
Surprisingly, weeks later, the arils are still stunning and juicy. So, I made this salad, and sipped on my favorite pomegranate mojito, in quiet celebration and gratitude of the delicious pomegranate and delectable citrus.
Speaking of gratitude, I just purchased a 2/3 Community Supported Agriculture Share from Prairie Bottom Farm. A full share was just a little too much for us last summer. I couldn’t quite keep up with all the produce coming in because I don’t cook as much in the Summer due to travel, late day lingering in the sunshine and pulling weeds. We received a bit of a price break since we committed early, by about 10%. Purchasing early helps farmers plan yields and ensures they’ll have consumers for their crops.
While I’ve purchased eggs, veggies, and flowers from Prairie Bottom Farm at their farm stand, regularly, I’ve not participated in this farm’s CSA. What I am most excited about is not only do they provide the freshest veggies, and eggs from a carefully tended free-range flock, but because I’m a shareholder this season, I’ll be able to harvest U-pick flowers, herbs and raspberries when I pick up my weekly share. I’ve always enjoyed their flowers, particularly sunflowers.
If you haven’t considered a CSA or visited a farmers market, I hope you will. Not only does it help support local farmers, your local economy, but you know exactly where your food is coming from, how it’s grown and best of all, it’s fresh and tastes so good.
An added bonus, as a shareholder, your produce comes straight from the farmer, so there’s no middle-man and the savings are passed on to you! Not sure where your nearest farmers market or CSA is? Local harvest can guide you. It’s a helpful tool, too, if you’re traveling this summer.
Thinking about farmers markets, CSAs and fresh berries makes me anticipate Spring even more. This salad reminds me of Spring with its vibrant colors and freshness. The clementines and pom arils make it juicy with pops of sunshine amongst the fresh greens while the roasted beets add a mellow richness that blends well with the citrus balsamic vinaigrette.
Assignment this week? Find pomegranates and your most localist Farmers Market or CSA. I’d love to hear what you discover! How close is your nearest market and/or CSA?
Winter Jeweled Salad
For the Salad:
- 14 oz Beets* (see note) skins on with 2" of tops left on, medium (about 3 beets)
- 1/3 C Pecans
- 8 C Spring Lettuce Mix rinsed and dried in a salad spinner, about 1/3 lb
- 2 Tbs Pomegranate Arils
- 2 Oranges Clementine or 4 Mandarins, peeled (individual cut in 1/2 if desired) with 2 Tbs of Orange Juice reserved for dressing
- 2 Green Onions or Scallions sliced thin on the bias
- 2 oz Goat Cheese optional
For the Dressing:
- 2 Tbs Orange Juice reserved from salad ingredients
- 1 1/2 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar
- 3 Tbs Olive Oil
- 3/4 tsp Shallot minced
- 1/2 tsp Stone Ground Mustard
- Pinch of Salt
Prepping the Beets and Toasting the Pecans:
- Preheat oven to 400F. Place beets in 1/2" water, cover and roast for 40-50 minutes or until fork- tender. Place the pecans in a baking dish and toast in the same oven as beets for about 8 minutes (watch this. Nuts go from toasted to burnt quickly!).
- While the beets are roasting, make the dressing and chop the pecans, once cooled.
- Once the beets are out of the oven, allow to cool until they can be handled. Cut the stem and tail off. There are two ways to approach beet peeling. I use a vegetable peeler and gently remove the skin. Some simply slip the skins off. Your choice. Once the skins are removed, slice the beets into discs or cut into matchsticks.
For the Dressing:
- In a small bowl whisk the orange juice, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, shallot, mustard and salt together until an emulsion is formed. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed.
- For a composed salad, use a shallow serving bowl or platter. Spread the greens in the serving dish. Drizzle the salad dressing, a few tablespoons at a time to taste, over the entire salad right before serving as the dressing will wilt the greens over time. Toss well. Evenly distribute the beets, arils, and orange pieces over the salad. Sprinkle the green onions, chopped pecans and optional goat cheese over the top. Serve immediately.
I’m thinking of serving this as a first course, rather than as a meal. Does the “number of servings”apply as a side salad or a meal?
It looks beautiful and sounds delicious.
Hi Anne! Thank you for your note and kind words. I do need to clarify this. Thank you for pointing it out to me. I shared this recipe years ago, and if my memory serves me, the number of servings shown count as a medium salad that could be shared with soup for example. So I did a little digging and found several sites and forums indicating that a dinner salad serving size is about 1 C of greens. With all the additional inclusions in this salad, I feel good about saying this salad should easily serve 8 as a dinner salad. I’d have on hand an extra orange and more pom arils to add additional pops of color. I hope this helps, and that you and yours enjoy the recipe!
Thank Thanks for this great recipe, made it for a woman’s group and they just love it, should have tripe it, it was gone in a Bink, before the other 5 salads. But I did candied the pecan with salt and sugar.
Hi Berti! Thank you for your note! I’m so happy you and the ladies enjoyed it. Candied pecans is genius! :D
It definately look delicious. love your combination with pommegranate and mandarine
Thank you so much Sumit! It’s a lovely combination! I hope you enjoy the recipe! :D
Kristen @ The Endless Meal
I’m absolutely in love with all the colours in this salad. So pretty! I’ve never subscribed to a csa program before but I’m going to look into it. I’ve been wanting to try it for years now. You’ve inspired me!
Hey Kristen! I’m so excited you’re looking into a CSA! It’s soooo worth it and you’ll appreciate how amazingly fresh and delicious the food it! :D DO IT ! !
Erin @ The Speckled Palate
So happy you’ve joined this CSA! These veggies look AMAZING… and this is making me excited to re-join a CSA in our area. (We’ve had problems in the past with a box being too much for just the two of us, and I’m hoping we can find a CSA that works for the two of us this season.)
And then this salad… This is basically what I’ve been craving for the end of pregnancy: Salad with fruit. It’s a favorite of mine, and I love the citrus you used here. I’m sure it tastes divine… and if I can get my hands on these ingredients, I’ll be whipping this up soon!
I know what you mean about a full CSA. Ask your farmer if they’ll split a share for you. From my experience they’re pretty willing to work with you. I hope it works out for you…
YaY for a baby salad! This one is full of good for you stuff and the citrus makes it even better! Hope you enjoy it Erin. :D
Natalie @ Tastes Lovely
What a pretty salad Traci! All the best ingredients of fall. These pictures are so stunning!
Evi @ greenevi
Oh, I remember I saw the picture with the ingredients on FB or Instagram and I knew it was gonna be something awesome!
The pictures are beautiful again as well as that salad plate :)
Julia | Orchard Street Kitchen
Lovely salad, Traci! As I mentioned on IG, I have recently become obsessed with beets and am having fun thinking of all the ways I can eat them. Your salad seems like a wonderful option! And orange juice in a balsamic vinaigrette? I am so intrigued and must try it!! Thank you for the inspiration, as always!
Thank you, Julia! I love trying new things too! So glad you’ll give the orange balsamic vinaigrette a go. We love it and beets too! :D
Medha @ Whisk & Shout
Lovely salad and your photos are always beyond perfect :)
Thanks so much Medha! :D
Jocelyn @ Hip Mama's Place
Your blog makes me want to try new things and this salad is just gorgeous and a must-try! Thank you for this! :)
I’ve done my job! Welcome, Jocelyn :D
Ceara @ Ceara's Kitchen
This salad is absolutely gorgeous, Traci!! Your photos honestly need to be featured in a gourmet magazine – they are drop dead stunning!
Awh, that’s the sweetest, Ceara! :D Thank you!
Nora (A Clean Bake)
Gorgeous Gorgeous Gorgeous!
We get tons of beets and (soon) greens from the CSA and I never know exactly what to do with it. I’m bookmarking this for use very soon!
It’s a delicious way to use up your beets! Thank you My Dear! :D
Kelly @ Inspired Edibles
Traci, I caught a glimpse of this beautiful salad while we were on holidays (I allowed myself the occasional instagram splurge ;-) — and couldn’t keep my eyes off it. The choice of ingredients, the backlighting and yes, the gorgeous vinaigrette… a sensual feast. I have not seen fresh poms for a while here in Cali so I suspect the season has indeed settled out. I’m also sad to report that we cleared the last of the mandarins off our tree this morning — I will miss them dearly. Nothing as constant as change. Interesting about the freezing experiment and it does not surprise. I find it’s the same when I buy the arils separate from the fruit — I always think it’s a great idea/time saver until I taste them :). Your winter jeweled salad is stunning Traci.
I know, it’s tough to get away from IG! Oh the Poms… I’ve seen a few other bloggers I follow using them lately, I need to see where their source is! I haven’t seen them in at least a week, sadly. I will miss them. Although, this salad is still delicious without them. I’m sure you’re loaded up on Vit. C for the entire year with all the oranges you’ve enjoyed from your mandarin tree. What a delight! Yes…. nothing constant as change. Thank you for your sweet comments, Kelly. :D
Olivia - Primavera Kitchen
What a beautiful, beautiful and beautiful salad, my dear!!! LOVE your photos too! Pinned!
Thank you, Olivia and for your pin!! :D
Annie @ ciaochowbambina
I’ve always loved beets and I just recently read an article about their benefits pertaining to runners and endurance; so this salad is coming at just the right time as I’m hoping to spend more time on my treadmill! As always, your photos are stunning. I love them so much, I pinned two! Thank you for your sharing of this recipe and information. I always learn so much from you!
Oh, I didn’t know, Annie. Will you be juicing them? They are so good for us, especially for detoxing the liver. I finally got out of my December funk and have been back at my regular workout schedule. I’ll have to make sure beets are included in my diet more regularly.
Thank you, Annie, always, for your support! :D
Yum!!! We’ve definitely had our fair share of sunshine and the thought of spring makes me super excited! (minus the weeding of course) Beautiful photos, Traci!
No doubt, sunshine has been good… :D ! Thank you Camille!
Brittaney @ Sips and Snacks
What a beautiful salad! There’s not much I love more than the combination of beets and goat cheese, but this totally takes it up a notch!
Thank you Brittaney! What is it with beets and goat cheese? BFFs, right? :D
Thalia @ butter and brioche
SUCH a beautiful salad Traci! I love the dressing especially.. looks divine!
Oh yeah, the dressing makes it all worthwhile! Thank you, Thalia! :D
Geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen
What a refreshing looking salad, Traci. Just perfect for spring – a great combination of light flavors and citrus and earthy beets. The dressing sounds wonderful – never thought of adding orange juice to my dressing – looking forward to trying it. Your photos are inspiring as always – love the overhead ingredient shot – beautiful lighting.
Who knew orange and balsamic would mingle!? The sweetness of the orange balances the acidity of the vinegar nicely and the mustard brings it all together… with of course a high quality EVOO! The overhead shot was taken on a gray cloudy day in front of my back full glass patio door. The lighting was perfect that day! Thank you, Geraldine!
Christina @ Bake with Christina
Yum that salad looks perfect! I love all the additives and the citrusy dressing! Pinned :)
Thanks so much Christina! And for your pin! :D
Julie @ Cooks with Cocktails
Traci! You know just what I needed today! I am so making this. I am just about to run to the store to find a pom and some goat cheese.
It definitly feels like spring and I was laughing out loud because Im in the same boat. Feeling a little overwhelmed by the gardening to come! I have way too much space to grow things! You have reminded me of a little farm nearby that does a similar thing to what you mentioned with the CSA share. Thanks for that and for this delicious salad recipe!
Oh hey Julie! Yay! I hope you found a pom and whipped this up tonight. It’s so worth while! No doubt that’s all we can do is laugh at those weeds… they just keep coming. Our yard is pesticide free, so it is ALL done by hand! :| Can wait to hear what you find with your CSA! It’s so exciting Julie! :D
Ok, this is scary….I was thinking about a new CSA for this year while I was in the shower this morning. Checking my morning emails and there you are providing me a great link! Thank you so much! BTW – please remember to stop in when you are in Seattle. Let’s have some tea.
Hi Laura! So nice to see you! How funny, we’re on the same brainwave with a CSA!! So happy to be of help with finding one. Seattle has so many great options! Are you heading to IFBC this year? :D
This salad looks fresh and delicious and pictures are beautiful! Will definitely try it, since I’ve been obsessed with salads lately! Glad to hear it feels like spring already, it is still quite cold here :) Pinning!
Thanks so much Mira! Your salads have totally inspired me! Thank you for your pin and stay warm! :D
Alison @ Food by Mars
Gorgeous! I’m slowly adding more beets into my meals because historically, I haven’t liked them! This one for sure I will need to try ;)
Oh that’s great Alison! The sweetness of the orange balances the sometimes not so sweet beets. I hope you enjoy the recipe! :D
Liz @ Floating Kitchen
Your photographs are really just stunning, Traci. I’m could stare at them all day long! And look at you bragging about your spring time. Hmpf. :-)
Hmpf! LOL! Oh Liz, you’ll be there soon. Hang in there honey! And thank you my dear :D .
Jocelyn (Grandbaby cakes)
This is salad perfection.
Thank you, Jocelyn! :D
Traci, this recipe made a difference to my life today. Love beet, love this salad!! I have my work from home day and just made this salad; the taste was magnificient!
The goat cheese is a great counterpart of the beet. And he olive iold gives it a special dimension.
have a great day!!
Thank you for writing and sharing! I’m so happy you enjoyed the salad and it’s all the better because you worked from home; that always allows for a great lunch experience! Yeah, that goat cheese, so creamy and delicious with this salad! :D
This post is a jewel!!! So beautiful!
I like to use a paper towel to take off the skin of roasted beets. It helps with gripping, and the skins slide right off, leaving the ruby beet flesh.
Thank you for the tip, Deb. Sometimes too, the skin is easier to come off then other times. IDK why this is. Perhaps it’s how long the beets are cooked?