Arugula, Red Onion, Orange and Pomegranate Seed Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Almost any big meal could use a green salad to round things off (and balance out the heavier items on the table, like maybe this Baked Tortellini). But not just any old pile of lettuce.

This salad is simply gorgeous, and a great way to bring color, flavor and just plain oomph to a holiday meal.   The combination of tartness from the citrus, sweetness from the pomegranate seeds, sharpness from the onion, and a bit of herby bitterness from the arugula—plus a bright vinaigrette—makes this a salad that isn’t just a placeholder on a plate.  And the colors are amazing.  

Pomegranate Seeds

I realize at different times there are foods that I use as defaults (or honestly kind of crutches) because they pretty much always make things better.  Many of these levers are not mine alone: bacon, a fried egg, a shower of fresh arugula.  And, especially during cold weather and the holiday season, pomegranate seeds.  Gorgeous and glowy they add sweet-tartness, iridescent ruby color and crunch to all kinds of recipes, salads in particular.

Arugula, Red Onion, Orange and Pomegranate Seed Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

A colorful, texture filled salad for the winter table. 15 minutes to make but looks like something you could find on a restaurant menu.

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You can buy pre-shelled pomegranate seeds in little containers in the produce section of the supermarket, or if you’re feeling industrious buy a whole pomegranate, split it apart and remove the seeds yourself.  It’s messy but slightly therapeutic work.  If you have kids, lay out lots of paper on the table, put them in big t-shirts that can get messy, and let them take on this project.  If you live in a place where it’s warm enough to do this outside—definitely go outside.

You can also do this in a bowl of cold water, preferably placed in the sink, which help the pomegranate seeds release from the white pithy membrane that ensconces them.

Other Recipes with Pomegranate Seeds:

Arugula, Orange and Pomegranate Salad

A colorful, texture filled salad for the winter table.
Yield: 6 People
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian


For the Lemon Vinaigrette

  • 1 large shallot thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the Salad

  • 8 cups baby arugula
  • 1 small red onion halved and very thinly sliced
  • 2 cara cara or blood oranges
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds


  • Make the vinaigrette. In a small container, combine the shallots, lemon juice, rice vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Shake to blend.
  • Place the arugula in a large serving bowl with the onion. Peel the oranges, and use a paring knife to remove all of the white pith from the outside of the fruit. Cut the oranges crosswise into slices, and cut those slices into 4 pieces. Add these to the bowl. Pour the dressing on the salad, and toss to combine. Scatter the pomegranate seeds over the top and serve.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 105kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 9mg | Potassium: 211mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 643IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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