This Festive Holiday Salad is the perfect vegan centerpiece at any festivity. The colors and flavors are vibrant and festive. The ingredients are seasonal and humble. And although it is breathtaking, it is relatively simple to make. You will wow your guests with this presentation which will make them wonder why people think salad is boring.
The first step is roasting the sweet potatoes, delicata squash and the crispy chickpeas. I love adding sheet pan roasted vegetables to salads because it bumps up the flavor profile and makes salad more filling. The oven crisped chickpeas give this Festive Holiday Salad plant protein which makes this salad is filling enough to be the main attraction. That is why I love making it for the Holidays.
While the vegetables and chickpeas are cooking, it's time to make this Festive Holiday Salad green base. I chose hearty kale, crunchy romaine and purple cabbage. All three of these salad greens are hardy enough to withstand the weight of the toppings. The romaine is a bit more delicate than the kale and cabbage. If your audience will be put off by kale, then use another head of romaine instead.
Pomegranate arils and apple slices really amp up the festive sprit of this Winter salad. When using apples in a salad it is important to squeeze some lemon juice over the cut apples to prevent browning. To assure the entire surface gets coated. Although pomegranates are tasty, it's the color that does it for me. The gorgeous red pearls make any dish look fancy.
The dressing is a very simple pomegranate and pear balsamic vinaigrette. In this recipe I use a pear infused white balsamic vinegar from Wild Groves. You can buy some at 20% off with code Betterfood20. Or use your favorite white balsamic or apple cider vinegar.
Festive Holiday Salad
- 2 sheet pans, 1 salad bowl or platter
- 1 bunch Kale stemmed and chopped
- 1 romaine heart chopped
- 2 cups red cabbage shredded
- ½ pomegranate arils removed
- 3 delicata squash split seeds removed and cut into ½ inch thick half moons
- 2 apples sliced thin
- ½ lemon squeezed
- 2 sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
- 1 15 oz can chickpeas drained
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp white balsamic vinegar
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup white balsamic vinegar pear infused
- ½ pomegranate arils removed
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Spread delicata squash and sweet potatoes on a sheet pan. Drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil, and ½ tsp salt, mix well and bake for 20 minutes until fork tender. Set aside to cool while preparing the rest.
- On another sheet pan spread drained chickpeas in one layer and drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil, remaining ½ tsp salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder and balsamic and bake for 20 minutes, flipping halfway. Set aside to cool.
- In a large salad platter layer Kale, romaine, red cabbage as the salad base.
- When delicata, sweet potato and chickpeas are cool layer on top of the base.
- Coat the apple slices with lemon juice to prevent browning and layer into the salad. Finish with the pomegranate arils and drizzle with dressing when serving.
- Place oil, vinegar, pomegranate arils, salt and pepper in a jar and shake well until combined.