satsuma, red onion and pomegranate salad

I know I could write this post about our holidays—our first Christmas traveling to both Ohio and Chicago; our first year of giving gifts as a couple; our first Christmas stretching between two families because we are our now our own. I could tell you about all the food we ate—the amazing, high-quality, enjoyable meals of homemade braciole and fork-tender pot roast and filet mignon kabobs. I could tell you, the way I’ve told Tim, how humbling it is to be outgiven, the way we were by both our families, who generously, thoughtfully gave us with gifts far beyond our needs or expectations.

But the truth is, the only thing that keeps coming out when I try to write this post is something much more simple, something much less interesting or profound. It’s the thing I can’t stop thinking about lately, the reasoning behind purchases and lunches and a fridge stocked with greens:

I love salad.


I know, I know, this isn’t the kind of revelatory factoid you want someone to drop on you at a dinner party. It doesn’t provoke much response or invite lengthy discussion. Salad is boring. What’s there to say about it? We eat salads before we do something interesting, like, say, have a chicken dinner. Yet nonetheless, I love it, I really do. I love the way I feel when I eat salad, particularly afterwards, so light and refreshed and, I don’t know, clean. I started craving it in the midst of our holidays, probably when my digestive system was so overloaded with back-to-back-to-back delicious meals that it didn’t know what to do with itself, and I’ve had one almost every day since.

And lately, there’s been one ingredient in particular I’ve been especially loving on my salads: pomegranates. Tim showed me how to harvest the seeds—arils, they’re called—and our local Aldi sells them for less than a dollar a piece, so we’ve had pomegranates on our salads like routine.

(Our method, if you’re curious, goes like this: cut off the tip of the fruit and carefully slice four or five indentations, top-to-bottom around, as if you’re cutting it into wedges. In a bowl filled with water, separate those chunks under water and pull apart the seeds. Everything but the seeds floats to the top and can be discarded; the water can be strained. Once you get the hang of it, it takes 10 to 15 minutes. And in the end, you have a bowl full of juicy red jewels to enjoy.)

separating pomegranate seedsstraining pomegranate seeds

pomegranate arilspomegranate arils

On Sunday, for our weekly dinner with friends, which this week fell on New Year’s Day, we brought the salad pictured in this post, one that combined pomegranates with sweet satsumas and thin pieces of red onion.

assembling the salad

I love how colorful it looks, how reminiscent of other seasons, the kinds filled with flowers and farmers markets, and I love how it pairs different flavors and textures: crunchy pomegranate seeds that burst into juice, sweet citrusy satsumas, spicy red onions.

satsuma red onion pomegranate salad

Oh salad. There’s just nothing like it. And while you could say it’s just that crazy salad love talking, after three helpings, I could have had more.

Satsuma, Red Onion and Pomegranate Salad

Greens – I like tossing romaine with mixed greens
2 or 3 satsumas, segmented
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
Seeds of 1 pomegranate
Balsamic vinegar
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Combine greens, satsumas, onion and pomegranate in a bowl and dress with vinegar and oil. Toss and add salt and pepper to taste.

Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 26 Comments

  1. Paul

    Loved the pomegranate salad – looks perfect for post-holiday eating. Over here in the UK, we’re also getting the benefit of pomegranates in season. A friend once taught me to deseed them by cutting them in half through across the middle, holding one half in your cupped palm, cut-side down, so that there’s a little space between the cut side of the fruit and your palm and then sharply smacking the skin of the pomegranate with the bowl of a spoon. Almost miraculously, the seeds pop out leaving the pith behind (if some of the pith also comes out, it is separated from the arils. With a little practice, you can deseed a pomegranate in just a minute or so.

    1. Shannalee

      That sounds excellent, Paul! Tim and I can’t wait to try this method–thanks for telling us! : )

  2. Molly

    My sister, as well as some of my closest friends, have been known to call, text or email me to share notes about a glorious salad they’ve just enjoyed. I love the bright colors of this salad; so cheerful and vibrant on these gray January mornings.

    1. Shannalee

      These sound like my kind of people–how nice to have them in your life!

  3. Jen

    Oh, you make salads the way my mother makes salads–crunchy with sweet and tangy fruits and a tart and acidic dressing. She brings them to every family occassion, dotted with pops of color against the flowery greens, and I am always so in awe of the way she throws them together. Salad making is a true gift–which you obviously have!

    1. Shannalee

      What a nice compliment to your mother! I love the way you described her salads as “dotted with pops of color against the flowery greens.”

  4. Laken

    This looks just perfect and exactly what I’m craving right now. I’ve had salads for the lunch for the past 3 days and I’m in no way tired of it. Actually, I’ve been searching for new combinations to try once school starts back next week so I’m definitely going to give this one a go :)

    1. Shannalee

      A kindred spirit! Thanks, Laken! Hope you enjoy this. : )

  5. Lan

    personally, i think the reason why i love salads so much, even when it’s cold and the weather is begging for something hearty & warm, is that it reminds me of spring and summer, when it’s the norm to have a quick & simple meal of it. it makes winter all the more bearable when i can have something as fresh as a salad, as maybe this salad.
    i’ve never had pomegranate before, somehow the juice just doesn’t count, and i’ll be honest, i’m quite fearful of the seeds for some reason. but the freshness & color factor sure do make me rethink my stance.

    1. Shannalee

      exactly–the way they remind us of spring and summer are just one more point for salad! And Lan, don’t be afraid of pomegranates! I watched Tim do it twice before I was brave enough to try, but now I’m sold. Definitely want to try the way Paul suggested in the comments next. : )

  6. heather @ chiknpastry

    love pomegrantes in salad! I made one for a christmas dinner with pears and truffle oil vinaigrette and it was lovely!

    1. Shannalee

      Oh, pomegranates with pears sounds so good!

  7. modernworkinggirl

    That is the most perfect picture of an orange I’ve ever seen. !

    1. Shannalee

      Aw, thanks!

  8. la domestique

    The salad is absolutely gorgeous! I use the same method for getting the seeds out of the pomegranate (mostly because I lack patience and don’t mind getting a bit dirty). Every time I cut open a pomegranate I just can’t believe how beautiful they are inside.

    1. Shannalee

      No kidding, I just said to Tim yesterday that sometimes I look and fruit and just can’t believe it—pomegranates especially. The way they are made, so intricately filled with deep red seeds and how stunning they are… it’s amazing.

  9. Rachel

    Nice! I actually just had my first pomegranate ever over Christmas! So delicious! You should get the dark chocolate covered pomegranate seeds at Trader Joes–so yum. :)

    1. Shannalee

      Christmas is the perfect time to have them! I love how festive they are, all red and shiny. I even talked my family into putting them on our salad on Christmas day. : )

  10. Punctuation Mark

    this looks fantastic and so healthy… happy 2012!!!

    1. Shannalee

      You too! Thanks!

  11. molly

    ah, you and me both :)

  12. Lauren Mack

    I will have to try this method to get the seeds out of a pomegranate and try this salad… it looks delish!

  13. Shannalee

    You won’t regret it, Lauren. I am addicted!

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