Low-Carb Pomegranate Salad With Cider Walnut Vinaigrette

low carb pomegranate salad
Kristy Del Coro, MS, RDN, CDN

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

Calories 207
Fat 15g
Carbs 17g
Protein 4g
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 (about 1.5 cups each)
Amount per serving  
Calories 207
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 246mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 10g  
Includes 2g Added Sugars 4%
Protein 4g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 79mg 6%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 519mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Total Time 35 min
Prep 30 min, Cook 5 min
Servings 8 (about 1.5 cups each)

This salad is great to make for entertaining during the holidays or as a refreshing complement to a warm winter dish. It's low in carbohydrates so is perfect for a diabetes-friendly meal and is also rich in healthy unsaturated fats for a heart-healthy meal plan. Plus, pomegranate seeds are a source of antioxidants and the walnuts and walnut oil add omega-3 fatty acids.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnut oil
  • 5 cups celery, sliced on a steep bias (3/4" wide), reserve celery leaves
  • 2 cups raw celery root, peeled and sliced into matchsticks (1/8" x 1/8" x 2")
  • 2 cups pomegranate seeds
  • 4 cups watercress sprigs, thick stems removed
  • 1/2 cup picked parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup picked celery leaves (or whatever you have reserved from chopping celery)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 325F. When the oven is preheated, spread walnuts in a single layer on baking sheet and toast for about 15 min or until they give off a "nutty" aroma and are slightly darker.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together ingredients for dressing (apple cider vinegar through walnut oil).
  3. When nuts are toasted and slightly cooled, add them to a large bowl along with remaining ingredients.
  4. Make sure dressing is well emulsified (whisk well or shake in a closed container) and add to salad.
  1. Gently toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

Celery and walnuts are a natural complement to each other but other nuts such as hazelnuts or almonds would also pair well. If you use a different nut, you can either use a matching nut oil, still use walnut oil, or substitute with extra virgin olive oil (although the nut oil really adds a lot of flavor).

This recipe calls for toasted walnut oil which has a "nuttier" flavor than regular walnut oil but if unavailable, regular walnut will still taste great!

If you can't find watercress, opt for another peppery green such as arugula.

Celery root, aka celeriac, is a root vegetable very closely related to celery. While not the actual root of the familiar celery stalks, it shares similar flavor but a much different texture. It is a very versatile vegetable that can be eaten raw (thinly sliced) or cooked (roasted, steamed, mashed, or as the main ingredient in a pureed soup).

If you are unable to find it, you can leave it out of this recipe altogether or replace it with thinly sliced raw fennel.

Cooking and Serving Tips

Walnuts can be prepared in advance and stored in an air-tight container in the pantry. Celery can be sliced ahead of time and refrigerated the day before.

If it softens or starts to brown, you can refresh it in a bowl of ice water before using. The dressing can be made in advance and refrigerated for up to one week.

Pomegranate seeds can be found in the grocery store but are much more expensive than buying whole pomegranates. The easiest way to get the seeds out of a pomegranate is to cut it in half, hold each half over a bowl and tap it (pretty hard!) with the back of a spatula or wooden spoon, squeezing gently so that the seeds fall out of the shell. You may want to wear an apron as this can get a little messy, but is very efficient!

This salad is best served immediately since the watercress will wilt quickly. If you want to make it in advance, wait to add the watercress until right before serving.

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