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This festive Persimmon, Pomegranate, and Spinach Salad with a Maple Citrus Vinaigrette is easy to make and perfect for holiday dinners, using fresh produce available from late fall through winter.
Despite my tendency to go a little crazy with Christmas baking, I actually do try to keep things somewhat balanced and healthy around the holidays by making sure we eat a variety of seasonal produce. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean there aren’t great fruits and vegetables to be found!
Some of our favorites include citrus fruit like grapefruit and oranges, along with pears that are also in season during the winter. Pomegranates and persimmons ripen and are perfect for eating during the winter months as well, making them an obvious choice for a winter salad.
I love a good spinach salad, especially when paired with an easy, delicious homemade dressing. Spinach is one of those things that I almost always have in my fridge because I add it to smoothies or eggs on a regular basis, or I will use it to throw together easy salads like this one to serve with dinner.
This beautiful, vibrant salad is perfect for a holiday dinner with the dark green spinach leaves and purplish red pomegranate seeds, and rich orange hues of sliced fuyu persimmon mixed in.
Just be sure when shopping for your ingredients at the store that you grab the Fuyu type of persimmon, not the bigger, bitter Hachiya that are really only used for baking. Hachiya are sort of acorn-shaped with a pointed bottom and are ripe when they are very soft, to the point of sometimes being described as gelatinous.
Fuyu persimmons, on the other hand, can be eaten out of hand or sliced into a salad like this when they are still hard or just slightly soft. They have a mild, sweet flavor and smooth texture.
Fuyu persimmons are smaller and squat, with a flat bottom, and you can eat the entire thing peel and all, with the exception of the leaves on top that you slice off or any of the large black seeds that you might find inside.
Pomegranates are one of my girls’ favorite treats and they always beg for them whenever we go to the grocery store. I love to use them in salads like this one or another favorite winter salad made with pears, pomegranate, and swiss cheese with a homemade poppy seed dressing over romaine lettuce.
The easiest, cleanest way that I have found to get the seeds (or arils) out is by slicing off the very top, then scoring down the sides of the pomegranate where you can see the thicker, white lines that divide it into segments.
Once scored, the pomegranate can be sort of peeled open like a flower, exposing the seeds for easy removal like you can see in these pictures.
My girls will happily sit and pick at a pomegranate opened up like this until they have devoured every last aril! But it’s also easy enough for me to just pop the seeds out without getting juice everywhere so that I can add them to salads or yogurt or whatever.
The maple citrus vinaigrette is absolutely wonderful and compliments the other flavors of this persimmon, pomegranate, and spinach salad perfectly. I love the crunch of the toasted pecans!
The pinch of cinnamon is absolutely delicious and gives the dressing that little something extra that makes it feel even more festive. But I have also made this dressing with cumin instead of cinnamon, and that’s delicious as well.
More Salad Recipes You’ll Love
- Olive Garden Salad Dressing Recipe
- Spring Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Chopped Kale Salad
- Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing
- Winter Pear, Pomegranate & Swiss Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing
For the Salad
- 4-5 ounces baby spinach
- 1-2 Fuyu persimmons, sliced
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (about 1/2 a large pomegranate)
- 1/3 cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
For the Vinaigrette
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- Pinch of cinnamon
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Place the spinach, persimmons, pomegranate seeds, pecans and red onions in a large bowl.
- In a small jar, combine the orange juice, vinegar, maple syrup, lime juice, cinnamon, olive oil, and season with salt & pepper. Seal tightly with a lid, then shake well until combined.
- Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients, then toss together gently. Alternatively, you could arrange the salad ingredients on four individual plates and serve the dressing on the side.
For a different but equally delicious flavor profile, try swapping cumin for the cinnamon. It's just a pinch of either ingredient but it makes a big difference in taste. Both are wonderful with the maple and citrus flavors of the vinaigrette.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 219Saturated Fat: 2gSodium: 24mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 2gSugar: 7gProtein: 1g