Y’ALL – this is quite possibly the BEST salad I’ve ever made. It’s so tasty and just bursting with flavor! Sweet orange slices, tangy pomegranate kernels, crunchy toasted candied almonds with avocado and feta on a bed of greens – what’s not to love? I made it just before Christmas and said – this would be the perfect Christmas salad. It’s colorful, looks beautiful on a plate and would go great with some sort of red meat, which is exactly how I ate it both times I made it. I even made another salad the next day with leftover ingredients and added some leftover thin sliced beef tenderloin. That was also very good and would recommend if you have some left over steak.
For the oranges in this salad, I cut the rind off with a knife and then cut each slice out in between the white fibers. I would highly recommend cutting off the rind instead of peeling the orange and adding the slices with the case still on because it can get thick and chewy. If you use clementines instead of oranges, it’s okay to leave the white part on since it is thinner and not as chewy.
If you’re nervous about your knife skills, it’s really not that hard. To cut off the rind, I cut off the very bottom of the orange so that it can sit flat on the cutting board. Then I start at the top of the orange and cut down and around, following the shape of the orange with my knife. My first cut usually doesn’t reveal the flesh, so I have to cut again a little deeper. It’s okay if you cut out a big chunk of flesh, just cut a little shallower next time. Unless you are a master chef with superb knife skills, you will lose some flesh. I also never make it all the way down on my first round and I have the flip the orange over to get the last bits of rind on the bottom.
If you still don’t think you can do it or want an easier way, slice the orange into horizontal rounds. Then just cut the peel off, leaving you with an octagon shaped orange slice.
Ive never really used pomegranates before in my cooking because they are expensive and I was nervous about how crunchy they would be. But I think they are worth it and they are not too hard. You get a little sweet and sour crunch that is very satisfying. And peeling them is fun because it looks like little gems and you can pretend you are mining rubies.
If you’ve never candied almonds before, it’s actually very easy. Just keep pushing them around in the pan and the sugar will do it’s thing. You want to keep melting the sugar until the almonds look like they have a glossy coating. If you take them off too soon when the almonds have a grainy coating, the sugar will dissolve when you put them in the salad.
Orange, pomegranate and avocado salad with candied almonds
Preptime: 25 minutes
Serves: 4 as a side salad
2 handfuls raw almonds
2 tbsp brown sugar
4 handfuls mixed salad greens
3 oranges, rind removed, cut into slices
1/2 pomegranate, seeded
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
For the dressing:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp flax seed oil
Juice from 1/2 an orange
Zest from 1 orange
1-2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp plain greek yogurt
1 tsp honey
In a non-stick skillet on medium heat, add the almonds and brown sugar and mix together. Stir occasionally while the sugar is melting. Keep mixing until the almonds are coated in sugar and the sugar has turned into a clear sheen coating on the almonds. Remove from heat and spread out evenly onto a piece of parchment or wax paper. Let cool while you make the rest of the salad. When the almonds are cool, roughly chop them.
Place the salad greens in a large salad bowl. Cut the rind off of the oranges and then cut into individual slices. Cut the pomegranate in half and remove the seeds and add. Add the diced avocado, feta cheese and almonds.
To make the dressing, add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk until fully combined. Toss salad with the dressing and serve.