Satsuma Mandarin Orange, 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 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.

A top view image of a colorful and refreshing salad on a white plate.

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 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.

An image of a ripe orange near the edge of a table.

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.

An image of a pair of hands preparing pomegranates for a salad dish.

I know, I know. This isn’t the kind of revelatory factoid you want someone to drop on you at a dinner party. (As Bart Simpson says, “You don’t win friends with salad.”)

It doesn’t provoke much response, or invite lengthy discussion. Salad is boring.

An image showing a a process of straining pomegranates.

What’s there to say about it? We eat salads before we do something more interesting. Like, say, enjoying a homemade roast chicken dinner.

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.

An image of a stainless strainer with strained pomegranates in it.

I started craving it in the midst of our holiday celebrations, probably when my digestive system was starting to feel 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.

Lately, there’s been one ingredient in particular I’ve been loving in particular on my salads:


An image of a white bowl with pomegranates in it, ready for salad use.

Tim showed me how to harvest the seeds — arils, they’re called — and our local grocery store sells them for less than a dollar a piece, so we’ve routinely had pomegranate on our salads lately.

Our method, if you’re curious, goes like this:

  1. Cut off the tip of the fruit and carefully slice four or five shallow slits from top to bottom, as if you’re cutting it into wedges.
  2. Fill a large bowl about halfway with cool water, and separate those chunks under water, pulling them apart to remove the seeds.

That’s it! 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 10-15 minutes for the fruit to be prepped and ready to eat. And in the end, you have a bowl full of juicy red jewels to enjoy.

On Sunday, for our weekly dinner with friends, we brought the salad pictured in this post, one that combined pomegranates with sweet satsumas and thin pieces of red onion.

A vertical image of a white bow surrounded with leafy greens, satsuma, a whole red onion, orange slices, and pomegranates.

I love how colorful it looks, how reminiscent of other seasons, the kinds filled with flowers and farmers markets. But also, how perfectly seasonal it actually is, since we served this dish in January, and winter is the perfect season for cool-storage root vegetables, and citrus fruits. Believe it or not, pomegranate season is actually in the late fall through early winter as well!

I love how it pairs different flavors and textures: crunchy pomegranate seeds that burst with juice; sweet, citrusy satsumas; spicy red onions. Oh, salad.

A close up image of a delicious salad with pomegranates, satsuma, and red onions.

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

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A close up image of a delicious salad with pomegranates, satsuma, and red onions.

Satsuma Mandarin Orange, Red Onion, and Pomegranate Salad

  • Author: Shanna Mallon
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 10 mins
  • Yield: 5 servings 1x


Are you craving a tangy salad? This satusma, red onion, and pomegranate combination takes tangy to the next level, and it’s full of citrus flavor. Pomegranates in salads can be quite refreshing, and this blend is no exception.



  • 12 oz romaine, torn
  • 12 oz mixed greens
  • 3 satsumas, peeled and segmented
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • Seeds of 1 pomegranate
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  1. Combine greens, satsumas, onion, and pomegranate in a large salad bowl.
  2. Combine the vinegar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and whisk together. Continue whisking while you pour the olive oil into the bowl in a thin stream, to form an emulsion. Season to taste, then pour into the bowl and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

  • Category: Salad
  • Method: No-Cook
  • Cuisine: Side Dish, Healthy

Keywords: orange, satsuma, pomegranate, romaine, greens, salad

About Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home,, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.

23 thoughts on “Satsuma Mandarin Orange, Red Onion, and Pomegranate Salad”

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

    • 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. 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 🙂

  5. 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.

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

  7. 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.

    • 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.

  8. 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. 🙂

    • 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. : )


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