Christmas Salad with Citrus-Champagne Vinaigrette

~ A vibrantly beautiful salad that’s truly fit for a celebration! You can even shape it like a gorgeous Christmas wreath for a showstopping, edible centerpiece! Pretty greens are studded with crunchy pistachios, sweet and tangy pomegranate arils, and juicy oranges. Topped off with a sprinkling of creamy goat cheese and a refreshingly light champagne vinaigrette. A perfect party salad! ~

This Recipe Is:     Ready in 30 Minutes or Less    Includes Make-Ahead Steps    Vegetarian    Gluten Free  

Our easy, beautiful Christmas Salad can even be served as a wreath! So delicious with pistachios, pomegranate, oranges and goat cheese with a light citrus-champagne vinaigrette!

This salad screams “Celebration!” (If you listen closely, I think it might sing “Deck the Halls” and “Jingle Bells,” too.)

And, it’s actually simple to make. No kidding! It’s a total showstopper that’s actually do-able. Just check out our little video tutorial to see how easily this beautiful salad creation comes together!

Video Tutorial

 


But let’s get back to all that celebration-ness this salad’s got goin’ on.

I mean … just look at it. Red pomegranates and green pistachios. You’ve got Christmas right there.

Plus a snow-like dusting of goat cheese.

This Christmas Salad with goat cheese, pomegranate arils, crunchy pistachios, and juicy orange slices is a showstopper!

Oh! And if it’s a celebration, we’ll be needing a bit of champagne, too – like maybe in a festive, light champagne vinaigrette!

Falalalala …

The easy Citrus-Champagne Vinaigrette is the perfect festive accompaniment to our holiday salad recipe!

Now, I’m not going to tell you that you can’t make this salad for Thanksgiving, and allllll winter long, when you’re craving juicy, sweet oranges and a crisp salad to break up all that heavier winter comfort food. One taste of this, and serving it just at Christmas won’t be nearly enough. I get that.

And honestly, I’m not gonna stop you from serving it at Easter. Or, heck – maybe St. Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo, too. Who am I to judge?

But in its heart of hearts, this salad is a holiday salad, a Christmas salad. A special new tradition you’ll look forward to serving each year.

Vibrantly beautiful, easy and delicious! This Christmas Salad with Citrus-Champagne Vinaigrette is truly fit for a celebration!

And with a few little tips, it’s a breeze to throw together. You can have it all prepped ahead of time, ready at a moment’s notice when your guests arrive!

Quick Shopping Tips

Greens – To make this holiday salad seriously quick and easy, we generally start with bagged greens, like a pretty spring mix or sweet baby lettuce mix.

Champagne Vinegar – What says “party” more than champagne? I find that champagne vinegar is pretty commonly stocked at my local grocery stores, but if you’re having trouble snagging it at your own market, you can grab it online, as well.

Pistachios – Although they cost a bit more, shelled pistachios will save you loads of time, and if you know you’ll be making this salad each Christmas, you can keep your eyes open a month or two ahead to snag them when they’re on sale.

Storing nuts in the fridge helps extend their shelf life significantly, so you won’t have to worry about the pistachios going bad before the final, exciting moment when they get to adorn the Christmas Salad (the moment they’ve been waiting for)!

Sweet-tart pomegranate arils, crunchy pistachios, and juicy orange slices are a true taste of the holidays in this lovely salad recipe!

Pomegranates – Another timesaver – the little containers of pomegranate arils that you can find in most any grocery store. Whole pomegranates are definitely a hallmark of the holiday season, so grab a couple for your centerpiece if you’d like, but you can save yourself a couple of minutes by just purchasing the arils, all ready to go. So easy!

What if your grocery store happens to be out of those handy little containers, though? No problem – check out our post on How to Open a Pomegranate. It only takes a couple of minutes, and our method is virtually mess-free.

If you do choose to buy the containers, though, just be sure to drain off (and drink – yum!) the juice at the bottom, rather than pouring it onto the salad along with the arils.

Cheese – Lastly … crumbled goat cheese! Until we started making Gretchen’s to-die-for Cranberry and Goat Cheese Crostini (another holiday gem you’ll want to check out 😉 ), I didn’t even know crumbled goat cheese was a thing. I would actually waste time trying to crumble those little goat cheese logs, ending up with smeary goat cheese all over my fingers and amorphous, gloppy chunks of goat cheese looking all messy on top of my salad. *SIGH*

Crumbled goat cheese to the rescue! Grab it … and move on to the next item on your grocery list. Done!

How to Supreme an Orange (aka Cutting Oranges Like a Restaurant Chef!)

You know how restaurants always serve beautiful, perfect wedges of citrus without one bit of the white pith or membranes? Looks so impressive, right? Well, it’s super easy and will make you look like a chef extraordinaire!

The technique is called supreming. Here’s how it’s done:

1) Start by cutting both ends off the orange, so you have a safe and stable base.

Christmas Salad method: How to Supreme an Orange step 1

2) Turn the orange onto one end, and carefully begin to cut away the peel, starting at the top of the orange and slicing down toward your cutting board.

Christmas Salad method: How to Supreme an Orange step 2

3) Follow the contour of the orange so you don’t cut away too much of the fruit itself – just the peel and white pith.

Christmas Salad method: How to Supreme an Orange step 3

4) Work your way all the way around the orange, one area at a time.

Christmas Salad method: How to Supreme an Orange step 4

5) Once you’ve cut away all the peel, go back and carefully remove any little bits of pith that you missed.

Christmas Salad method: How to Supreme an Orange step 5

6) At this point, you may choose to use a paring knife, although I prefer to finish the entire job with my beloved 8-inch chef’s knife (which is actually this one, and not the prop knife I grabbed for this photo shoot) – whatever you’re comfortable with and feel safe using is just fine. Next, you simply cut out each individual section of the orange, carefully slicing right along the membranes that separate the orange sections from each other.

Christmas Salad method: How to Supreme an Orange step 6

7) Cut just to the middle of the orange so you can remove each section while leaving the membranes behind, still attached together at the middle.

Christmas Salad method: How to Supreme an Orange step 7

8) You’ll end up with an empty orange “core” and the attached pithy membranes, and also with a pile of beautifully supremed orange wedges, completely free of peel or pith!

Christmas Salad method: How to Supreme an Orange step 8

High five – you did it!

I know that might seem like a lot of effort and steps, but once you’ve tried it once, you’ll get the hang of it and see that it’s really not tricky at all. I just tried to break it down for you in photos very clearly, in case you’ve never done it before.

Trust me – although we’re usually all about quick and easy shortcuts here at THK, for a gorgeous salad like this one, it’s worth the effort to make sure those oranges are as stunning as the rest of the salad!

Juicy Orange Secret

One little secret tip on those oranges while we’re at it.

Before juicing the orange you’ll use to make the vinaigrette, let it come to room temperature, and you’ll actually get notably more juice.

Brilliant!

Make-Ahead Strategies

This salad can certainly be made an hour or so ahead of time, but all those (deliciously festive!) toppings can really weigh down the greens if you add them too far ahead, and the arils will start to turn the goat cheese pink after a couple of hours.

Also, as with most any other salad, I don’t recommend dressing this salad ahead of time, to prevent it from getting soggy. In fact, you may just want to offer a cruet of dressing alongside and allow guests to dress their own.

Although we named this gorgeous recipe our "Christmas Salad" - it's terrific and so festive for Thanksgiving, too!

But wait … relaxed hostesses need to prep everything they can ahead of time, right? No worries – this salad comes together in mere moments!

If you want to have everything prepped several hours in advance or even the night before, you can place your greens in their serving bowl, prepare the dressing, and supreme the oranges – and store them each in separate containers in the fridge.

Just before serving, put it all together – and greet your guests at the door with a relaxed I’ve-got-it-ALL-under-control smile!

Christmas Wreath Edible Centerpiece!

You may have noticed in our photos that you’ve got a couple of options for serving this beautiful Christmas Salad.

You can simply pile all the ingredients on a round platter, arranging the oranges in a pretty, circular, wreath-like pattern toward the outer edges, and sprinkling a bit more of the toppings in that outer area to suggest the wreath shape. Like this:

Our easy, beautiful Christmas Salad is so delicious, all loaded up with pistachios, pomegranate, oranges and goat cheese with a light citrus-champagne vinaigrette!

Quick and easy.

But hey now … want to really knock their (festive Christmas) socks off?

This salad goes into full-on wreath mode when you nestle a bowl filled with dressing right in the center.

No doubt about it … that’s a Christmas wreath you’ve got there!

Our easy, beautiful Christmas Salad can even be served as a wreath! A perfect holiday salad, absolutely brimming with goat cheese, pomegranate arils, crunchy pistachios, and juicy orange slices – what a showstopper!

Christmas Salad with Citrus-Champagne Vinaigrette Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

Now it’s not just singing falalalala and screaming “celebration.” It’s become it’s very own Christmas decoration … a showstopping centerpiece!

Happy holidays, friends! Gretchen and I both wish you a season filled with love and laughter, great food and good health. Cheers to you and yours!

More Delicious Holiday Salad Recipe Ideas …

Christmas Salad with Citrus-Champagne Vinaigrette

Christmas Salad with Citrus-Champagne Vinaigrette

Yield: About 11 cups
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This delicious, easy Christmas salad is vibrantly beautiful and truly fit for a celebration. It can even be served as a festive wreath!

  Ready in 30 Minutes or Less    Includes Make-Ahead Steps    Vegetarian    Gluten Free  

Ingredients

Salad:

  • 5 ounces of salad greens (such as spring mix or sweet baby lettuce mix)
  • 2 navel oranges (about 11-12 ounces each, or 4 smaller navel oranges, about 6 ounces each), peeled and cut into sections (see directions for how to supreme an orange in the post above)
  • 4 ounces shelled, roasted and salted pistachios (about a scant cup)
  • 4 ounces pomegranate arils (a 4.3-ounce container is fine, drained)
  • 2 ounces crumbled goat cheese (about a scant 1/2 cup)

Dressing:

  • 5 tablespoons fresh-squeezed orange juice (from about half a large navel orange)
  • 4 teaspoons honey
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon smooth Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/16 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Place greens in a large serving bowl (or divide evenly among individual salad plates).
  2. Arrange oranges, pistachios, and pomegranate arils over top of greens. Sprinkle with goat cheese.
  3. For dressing, whisk together orange juice, honey, champagne vinegar, canola oil, mustard, salt, and pepper until the salt has dissolved and the dressing is emulsified.
  4. Dress salad just before serving, or pass the dressing at the table.

Notes

Make-ahead tips: The best way to prep this salad ahead is simply to have the dressing made, the oranges cut, and all of the components measured and ready. You can do this up to a day ahead, storing the greens, vinaigrette, oranges and goat cheese in separate, covered containers in the refrigerator. You can compose the salad up to about an hour before serving, but wait to dress it until the last minute (or allow guests to dress their own).

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 11 servings Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 119Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 104mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 2gSugar: 7gProtein: 4g

Nutrition information should be considered an estimate only, and may vary depending on your choice of ingredients or preparation. No guarantees are made regarding allergies or dietary needs. Always consult a physician or dietician for specific advice and questions.

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Christmas Salad with Citrus-Champagne Vinaigrette Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}
Christmas Salad with Citrus-Champagne Vinaigrette Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}
Christmas Salad with Citrus-Champagne Vinaigrette Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}
Christmas Salad with Citrus-Champagne Vinaigrette Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

75 thoughts on “Christmas Salad with Citrus-Champagne Vinaigrette”

    • I’m so delighted to hear that this Christmas Salad was a hit with your family, Cheryl! I made it once again this year, too, and OHHHHH it is always just so delicious! We love it, and I’m really happy you did, too. Happy New Year!! ~Shelley

      Reply
    • Hi, Mary! I wouldn’t, honestly. Canned mandarin oranges just don’t have the same bright, fresh flavor and texture. I think they would really detract from the clean, vibrant flavors of this salad. Whatever you decide, though, I hope this Christmas Salad is a hit and that you and your family have a wonderful holiday! ~Shelley

      Reply
    • I just got such a giant smile on my face, reading your sweet comment, Mackenzie! <3 You made my day! I'm so touched that our recipe is a special part of your annual holiday celebration - thank you for taking a moment to let me know how much you enjoy it! Merry, merry Christmas to you and your family! ~Shelley

      Reply
    • Hi, Leslie! Although I always use champagne vinegar and haven’t tested this recipe with other vinegars instead, the best substitutes would probably be either white wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar. They’re both rather mild vinegars (like champagne vinegar), so they won’t completely overpower the rest of this delicately-flavored dressing. One other thought: a few years ago, one of our readers commented that she used bottled champagne citrus vinaigrette dressing. I hope that helps! Good luck, and happy, happy holidays to you and your family! ~Shelley

      Reply
  1. This salad was the hit of our early Christmas dinner – over the standing rib roast, roasted fingerling potatoes, sauteed carrots, chestnut dressing, homemade rolls, and a hazelnut cheesecake. When a salad wins rave reviews over such a lineup, it’s a keeper. Thank you for the recipe for such a beautiful and tasty salad.

    Reply
    • Wow, Jennifer – what a wonderful comment to start my morning! Thank you so much for taking a moment to send along the terrific feedback – it makes me so, so happy to hear that my Christmas Salad was such a standout for you and won you such rave reviews! <3 Oh my goodness, your Christmas dinner menu sounds AMAZING, so it's a true compliment that this salad was still the headliner amongst that kind of competition! You've made my day! Thank you again, and I hope you have a beautiful holiday season! ~Shelley

      Reply

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Published on
Updated on August 2, 2021
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