This holiday season make a bowl of festive Pomegranate Avocado Salad! Satisfy every creamy, crunchy, sweet, and tart craving with just a few simple ingredients and none of the hassle of a standard salad.
Contrary to what I used to think, pomegranate season is typically October through February, putting us just about smack dab in the middle of it.
Do you remember the first time you ate a pomegranate? I was convinced that you had to spit out the tiny seed parts, or else you’d grow a pomegranate in your stomach the same way you would if you ate watermelon seeds. Call me crazy, but I certainly wasn’t prepared for that to happen. And thus began the painstaking process of chewing arils and spitting out anything that felt remotely seedy.
Since then I’ve learned better table manners, not to mention that you can actually consume the seeds without fear of growing a fruit inside you. Although, I wasn’t so far off base, because pomegranates are often a metaphor for being fruitful and multiplying, so I wasn’t terribly far off base. Maybe just a few feet to the right.
This weekend was a brief respite from studying. Four out of five finals (only one to go!) and two essays left me utterly wiped, so that all I could think about was sleep. Blissful, deep sleep, which I got, along with about a day and a half of bingeing on a new chick lit book. Right now I’m looking forward to tomorrow night, when I really get to enjoy the fruits of my labor, aka the official end of my last first semester of college. I can already picture the internal celebration I’ll have the moment my exam leaves my hands. After busting my butt over 21 credits, I’ve earned it.
And after a few too many meals centered on frozen peas and a can of chickpeas, I’ve definitely earned this salad.
I don’t know why this combination never occurred to me before, but it’s BOMB. The three-ingredient base makes it the easiest salad you could ever make. No lettuce to wash, dry, and tear into bite-sized pieces (unlike the massive ones you sometimes get served at restaurants, as though they expect you to somehow fit the whole thing into your mouth without looking like a demented bear). No piles of cucumbers to slice, peppers to chop, or tomatoes to try and dice without squirting juice everywhere.
You’ll have this ready in 30 minutes or less, most of which you’ll spend waiting for the onions to roast. Oh, and the pine nuts to toast, because everyone knows toasted pine nuts elevate anything to next-level greatness.
Also, we’ve mentioned this a couple of times, mostly in relation to granola (like here and here), but for the newbies– I love crunchy food. Even when I have smoothies there’s got to be something to chew thrown on top. It’s a funny story how I learned that about myself, but we’ll save it for another time. For now let’s focus on the balance of creamy and crunchy happening here.
Avocado, as you’ probably know since you don’t live under a rock, is nature’s butter. Cutting open an avocado and finding perfectly green flesh is one of the most satisfying moments. Especially when the pit is small, so that you get a higher avocado-to-pit ratio. Talk about blessed.
Maybe you’re sitting there thinking man, this girl is crazy, who cares if your food is creamy or crunchy or the avocado-to-pit ratio? I’ll try not to be shocked if that’s how you really feel. Instead, I’ll appeal to your aesthetic sensibilities by pointing out how pretty your table will look when you serve a bowl of ruby red pomegranate arils tossed with purple onions and bright green avocado, studded with golden pine nuts.
Top three reasons to put this salad on your menu:
- It looks gorgeous and festive without any of the work people will think you put into it.
- You can eat it on whatever diet you’re on, including gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo/Whole30, vegan, or sugar-free.
- Pomegranates and avocados. ‘Nuff said.
If you try this recipe, I’d love your feedback. Leave a comment below, save it on Pinterest, or tag #lensesandlentils on Instagram to share!
- 1 red onion
- 2 tsp olive oil
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 1 cup pomegranate arils
- 2 avocados, diced
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- ¾ tsp balsamic vinegar
- ¼ coarse kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Slice the onion and spread in a single layer on a lined baking sheet. Toss to coat with the oil.
- Bake for 10 minutes, stir around, then bake for 10 minutes more.
- On a separate baking sheet, spread out the pine nuts and toast for 5 minutes.
- In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Store in a container in the fridge for 3-4 days.