I had no intentions of making this raw chard ribbon salad a "Christmas Tree" Salad. It was just going to be a holiday salad. Until I piled it into my bowl and watched as it formed a peaked tower that resembled a decked out holiday tree.
Complete with shiny red pomegranate "lights" - glossy grape bulbs - twinkly satsuma ornaments - and then I needed a star on top...
..sprouted grain toast star it was!
So my holiday salad turned into an edible tree..
This Christmas Tree Holiday Salad will fill your holiday season table with cheer! And healthy-deliciousness too. Dive in. Twinkly lights not needed for this shiny-fabulous tree..
Shopping Tip. Make sure you buy organic, super fresh chard since it is your main ingredient! Look for perky green leaves with plenty of "bounce" in their movement. Wash and pat dry your chard leaves very well.
Nutrition Bonus! This salad is filled with healthy things. Those pomegranate seeds are loaded with antioxidants. The pecans are rich in healthy fats and minerals. The chard is loaded with vitamins and minerals - including even more free radical fighting antioxidants. The citrus is rich in vitamin C. The dried fruit and pretty much all of the ingredients are rich in fiber.
And in case you didn't notice, this salad is DELICIOUS even though it has no oil added. The only fat comes built in from those crunchy raw pecans.
Christmas Tree Salad - aka Raw Chard Pecan Pom Salad
makes about 6-7 cups
1 bunch organic swiss chard (red or green will work) - rinsed well + sliced into thin ribbons
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds (about the amount from from 1 medium pomegranate)
3/4 cup frozen red globe grapes, sliced*
2 satsuma mandarin oranges, chopped
1 small onion, diced
1/4-1/2 cup chopped pecans, raw
2 Tbsp dried cranberries (or another dried fruit like dried golden raisins or even chopped dates!) - organic
1 small honeycrisp apple, organic - chopped
*tip: those frozen grapes help to keep the salad nice and cool for you and your holiday guests! I simply freeze the grapes, then right before I slice and toss with the salad, I run them under warm to hot water to quickly "thaw" the outside layer. This washes off any ice crystals too. It also seems to easily release lots of sweet grape flavor!
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp maple syrup, grade B
1/3 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp fine black pepper
1/8 tsp coriander
a pinch of cayenne (optional, but warms up things nicely)
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
a few pinches of satsuma orange zest
(feel free to use your own seasonings as desired as well - or use your own favorite dressing.)
star topper: 1 slice of toast (I used sprouted grain)
Other optional ingredients that would be fabulous: pear, avocado, dates, bell pepper, corn, grains like quinoa or brown rice, beans, tomatoes, diced roasted squash or sweet potato ...... gosh, pretty much anything yummy would be beautiful in this salad!
Directions: Simply prep all your ingredients and toss them with the dressing/spices in a large bowl. Toss and mix very well since this will help to distribute the flavors and infuse the chard with flavor. You can serve right away or chill in the fridge for up to 12 hours in advance before serving. Any longer and your chard will begin to get a bit soft. Serve raw and chilled. Top it! For the "star" tree topper, simply toast any slice of bread and using either your knife (free-hand) or a star-shaped cookie cutter, cut out a toast star to top the tree salad.