Pomegranate seeds (sometimes called arils) are probably the quickest and easiest way I know to add interest to all kinds of salads, from grain salads, to green salads. They offer up a gorgeous pop of ruby red color, a nice crunch, and a bit of sweet-tartness. This salad works in the summer because it’s refreshing, and also would look great as part of a Christmas meal, because of the vivid red and green colors. You can use all mint or all oregano instead of a combination if you like.
See the note for more information about buying pomegranate seeds or pomegranates.
- 2 seedless cucumbers
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds, divided (see Note)
- Thinly slice the cucumbers and place in a large bowl. Add the onion, lemon juice, olive oil, mint, oregano, and salt and pepper. Add half of the pomegranate seeds and toss to combine.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and top with the remaining pomegranate seeds.
You can buy pomegranate seeds already removed from the fruit, in the area of the produce section where fruit is already cut up and prepared for you.
Buy the seeds in a container certainly saves on time, though they are more expensive. But the whole fruit is beautiful to look out (it makes a nice additional to a Thanksgiving table centerpiece or cornucopia, too), and getting the seeds out is a fun project to do with kids. You’ll want to make sure you lay out lots of paper on the table, have them wear clothes you don’t mind getting messy, and let them know to wash their hands after – the juice can stain.
Here are some tips for getting pomegranate seeds out of a pomegranate, from the BBC:
Roll the fruit first to loosen the seeds.
Score around the middle and tear it open into halves.
Hold each half over a bowl, seeds facing down and tap the skin with a wooden spoon, squeezing a little to release the seeds.
Alternatively, score 4 lines from top to bottom to quarter the pomegranate.
Submerge the pomegranate in a bowl of water and pull apart the quarters, releasing the seeds with your hands.
The pith will float and the seeds will sink. Remove the pith and discard, then drain the seeds.
Try these other delicious salads!