This Pomegranate Mandarin Salad with Avocado and Feta is a festive salad for any winter meal or holiday potluck! Serve it as a Christmas or holiday wreath, just for fun.
Winter holidays always make me crave mandarin oranges. While I love eating them as a healthy snack, adding them to salads like this Pomegranate Mandarin Salad perks up my daily dose of leafy greens as well.
This gorgeous orange and romaine salad is bursting with Vitamin C-rich fruit, crunchy pecans and creamy avocado. It's topped with crumbled feta or goat cheese. Make it festive by serving it as a holiday wreath in a round serving dish, decked out with cheerful coloured fruits and nuts, tiny pomegranate jewels and sprinkled with a little feta "snow" on top.
Fresh, crisp and colourful! This is a 5 star Christmas salad!
If you're my age, you'll probably remember that mandarins were only available for a short time every winter, and never until the beginning of December. They came individually wrapped in thin green tissue papers in small wooden (yup, wooden) boxes.
To us kids, their arrival in the stores meant that Christmas couldn't be far behind, and that in itself was cause for great excitement. At school, our Christmas gift from our teacher was always a mandarin orange and a candy cane.
It was a big deal to see who could remove the peel from their orange in one piece.
Today, the boxes are smaller, they're made of cardboard, but the oranges are just as sweet and delicious!
Upcoming potluck or holiday dinner? Let's make this Christmas Wreath Salad !
- romaine lettuce: I like the crispness of romaine in this salad as it supports the other ingredients and prevents them from falling to the bottom of the bowl. You can also add in a few other mixed greens, if you'd like, but I recommend starting with a bed of romaine.
- mandarin oranges: Use organic if they're available where you live. Removing the white pith is probably the most time-consuming part of making this wreath salad! Running the peeled oranges under cool running water and using a soft vegetable brush helps make this job go a lot faster.
- cucumber: Scrub but leave the peel on for added colour.
- avocado: Peel and slice just before serving to prevent browning, or dip in a little diluted lemon juice.
- pomegranate arils: These look like little festive holiday lights brightening up this potluck winter salad.
- pecans: Lightly toasting them brings out their natural flavour.
- feta cheese: Crumbled on top, it resembles snow! Substitute goat cheese if you'd like, or leave it off to keep this salad vegan and dairy-free.
- vinaigrette: A simple citrus vinaigrette made with olive oil, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, shallots, Dijon and a touch of honey dresses this Christmas salad beautifully.
- Arrange healthy crisp greens in a round shallow bowl or platter around a central dish that will hold the citrus vinaigrette.
- Then, top with mandarin orange segments, cucumber, sliced avocado and pomegranate arils.
- Finish by sprinkling with toasted pecans and a light dusting of feta cheese.
Can I make this ahead of time?
Yes! Make this holiday salad ahead of time, cover and refrigerate. Add avocado slices and drizzle with the slightly sweet citrus dressing just before serving.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
Here are a few ideas for when to serve this holiday wreath salad!
Add it to your traditional turkey dinner, or serve it with one of these main dishes:
4 reasons to make this pomegranate mandarin salad soon!
There's no need to wait for a holiday dinner to make this beautiful winter salad. Enjoy it any day of the week!
- it tastes amazing. A romaine salad with oranges is always a popular choice!
- every bite is fresh, juicy and nutritious
- it looks beautiful on a holiday buffet table
- it will brighten up any dull winter day!
🗒 More Citrus Fruit Salad Recipes
If you love adding citrus fruit to salads as much as I do, you may like these too!
and check these 15 Best Winter Salad Recipes, too.
Pomegranate Mandarin Salad with Avocado and Feta
- 4 cups romaine lettuce with other crisp mixed greens, if desired
- 1 long English cucumber thinly sliced
- 1 avocado peeled, pitted and sliced
- 2 mandarin oranges peeled and sectioned, pith removed
- ½ cup pomegranate arils
- ½ cup feta cheese crumbled
- ⅓ cup pecans toasted
- ½ cup olive oil extra virgin
- 3 tbsp lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar or Champagne vinegar
- 1 small shallot finely minced
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ½ teaspoon each, sea salt and pepper
- To make a wreath-shaped salad, place a small bowl for the vinaigrette in the centre of a larger round shallow bowl or platter.
- Arrange bite-sized pieces of romaine or other greens in the bowl around the small dish. Top with remaining ingredients, finishing with feta cheese and pecans.
- Whisk vinaigrette ingredients together and pour into the small bowl in the center of the serving bowl.
- Serve and drizzle vinaigrette over all just before serving.
This recipe was originally published in 2016. It has been updated with new photos and information.