Looking for a super tasty and unique side dish to make for your next get together? Or maybe you want a new potluck for your Christmas party? Try this colorful wild rice, kale, and pomegranate salad. Its a hit with adults and kids too. My kids beg me to make this tasty salad.
Something you may not know about me is that I really love to cook. I am constantly cooking and creating recipes I love. One of my most favorite things to cook is breads. Its actually quite therapeutic to me to sit and work with the dough. But, that does make a bit of sense since I love working with my hands, whether its bread dough, a tasty pomegranate salad, or building a piece of furniture for my home.
Now, you may be surprised to see recipes popping up on my blog, but I have had a lot of people requesting them and I am happy to oblige! I want this website to be a place where you can get yummy recipes as well as design, DIY, and decor tips!
So, lets talk about this yummy pomegranate salad.
This salad was inspired by one I had a long time ago. There were a few things I wasn’t in love with, but the general idea of the salad was great. I changes up a few things and made this salad exactly how my family likes it. I think the thing about this salad that is such a hit for my kids is the pomegranates. They are absolutely obsessed with them.
That makes sneaking in the kale so much easier, and the dressing that is on the salad also helps to conceal the healthy from the kids. Its a unique salad that really works well together and I am always asked to make it for our families Thanksgiving and Christmas parties. And can you imagine how the vibrant colors work with the holidays? So pretty.
I also want to let you know that this salad gets even better after a day sitting in the fridge. The dressing has time to really penetrate the kale and rice. Its so good! I promise. And if your kids aren’t a fan….that’s just more for you!
Now lets get down to the specifics of this wild rice and pomegranate salad.
There are few things I want to talk about in terms of how we make this salad. First off, you will want to make sure that you cut the ribs out of your kale. The rib is the center part of the kale leaf which is light green and is tough and bitter. Well, more bitter than the actual kale. It is not pleasant to eat in this salad. I cut out the ribs of the kale and then chop the kale into small bite sized pieces. You dont want large pieces competing with the other delicate pieces in the salad. You really want everything to be similar in size and since your feta cheese, rice, and pistachios are already small, chop up your kale to be the same.
Regarding the wild rice. I use Uncle Bens Wild Rice and I cook it according to the directions…..but I DO NOT USE THE SEASONING PACKET. You do not want to season the wild rice. You can also try this with other kinds of rice, or even something like quinoa if you want to make it a superfood.
I buy my feta cheese already crumbled. Its just that easy. I have also tried it with a tomato/basil feta cheese and it was really good. But plain feta cheese is the way to go. Living in a small town with a small grocery store means you use what you can find!
Regarding the pistachios, I will often buy the already shelled ones, and then give them a rough chop before adding them to the salad. But, sometimes the store doesn’t have them already shelled so you can put your kids to work shelling them for you:) Also, you can opt for a different nut if you dislike pistachios. They are our favorite so we sue them.
And last….the pomegranates. You can also find these shelled but they are a bit more pricey. Plus, I always find that they are less fresh. So we opt to shell our own, and my kids are always thrilled to do this part, because it means they can sneak a bite or two of them.
The Pomegranate Salad Dressing:
This is a vibrant salad dressing, and it would have to be to compete with the other flavors in the salad. Honestly you could use any vinegar that you prefer, and we really like white wine vinegar. But apple cider vinegar would work well also. We also prefer to use orange juice instead of lemon, since it adds a bit more sweetness with the orange.
You can add more or omit some of the onion depending on your preference. We like lots of onion. You can also blend up the dressing so that it is smooth. We like the small bits of onion in ours. I do chop them quite small. I would say that I mince them.
Lastly, if you combine the dressing with the salad and find that it is too bitter, a dash of sweet rice wine vinegar will sweeten it right up without using any sugar or honey. You could even use the rice wine vinegar instead of the white wine vinegar all together.
Now, here is my Wild Rice, Pistachio, and Pomegranate Salad recipe:
Wild Rice, Kale, and Pomegranate Salad
- 4 cups Kale
- 2 cups Cooked wild rice(without seasoning packet) I use the Uncle Bens wild rice and omit the seasoning packet
- 5 oz Feta Cheese, crumbled
- 3/4 cup Pistachios
- 1-2 cups Pomegranates
- 1/4 cup red onion or shallot dices fine
- 3 tbsp honey
- 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- squeeze of orange or lemon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- rice wine vinegar(optional)
- 3 tbsp water
- First you want to prep all the ingredients for this pomegranate salad. There are a few thing I like to make sure I take care of first. First of all, make sure to cut out the ribs in your kale. These are bitter and chewy and not enjoyable to eat. I cut them out and then chop my kale finely. You want them to be bite sized pieces.
- Next you want to chop your pistachios a bit smaller as well. I give them a rough chop just to make sure that they are distributed throughout the salad well. You can but a bag of already shelled pistachios which makes your job making this salad much easier.
- You can buy already chunked feta cheese or just buy a block of feta cheese. Either way, you want it broken into small bite sized pieces.
- You can also buy pomegranates already shelled which is way easier than shelling them yourself, but they can get a bit pricey.
- Put your pomegranates, pistachios, cooked(and cooled) wild rice, feta cheese, and kale in a bowl. I love keeping each ingredient separate, since they look so pretty this way. But you don't have to!
- Next make your salad dressing. Once it is all mixed, you can blend it up in the blender to make it more smooth. We like ours with the bits of onion because my kids love onions. You can add more or less depending on your love for them.
- Pour the salad dressing over the pomegranate salad and mix well. You do not need a ton of dressing on this salad since the other ingredients add so much flavor to it. I will often test the dressing first to see if it needs anything else. Sometimes I will add just a dash of rice wine vinegar since it is sweet and mild and will take the bitterness out of the dressing. You can also add a bit more olive oil if you like it less vinegarry.
- This is great served right away but I like to let it sit for at least an hour to let everything marinate for a minute. The flavors get a chance to combine and mellow.
- Serve this as a side to your holiday meal, take it to your next get together, or eat it alone, in your bed while watching Netflix. You can't go wrong with whatever you choose! My kids actually take it in their lunch for school!
This pomegranate salad is such a hit with my family, and my mom has me on duty to make it every Thanksgiving.
And those colors! Its so pretty and the colors are so vibrant. The pomegranates tart crunchy flavor transform this salad.
You will agree with me that it is a unique but incredibly flavorful. Try making it for your friends and family this holiday season, or any time of year! But, with pomegranates in season in the fall and winter, it only makes sense to make it!
Now, I would truly love it if you shared this with those around you! You can pin this recipe to your Pinterest boards or share it on Facebook!
Have a great day!