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Winter Salad with Fennel and Pomegranate

4.95 from 18 votes

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A fresh and beautiful winter salad for your holiday table (or any day of the week)! Shaved fennel, romaine lettuce, radicchio, and thin-sliced celery root tossed in a creamy lemon dressing, topped with pomegranate seeds.

Image of a salad bowl serving winter greens salad with shaved fennel, romaine lettuce, radicchio and pomegranate seeds with a small bowl of lemon dressing on the side.

Here’s a winter salad recipe that will take you through the cold days of the year. It’s an alternative to a classic green salad, and it’s packed full of freshness, crunch and tangy flavor.

This recipe will show you how to prepare a simple, seasonal salad featuring ingredients that are at their best in the colder months — radicchio, romaine lettuce, pomegranate, fresh fennel and celery root.

Serve it in a large bowl and instantly add an uplifting jolt of color to the table — just what you need to help round the corner until springtime brings more green things!

Image of a bowl of winter greens salad with shaved fennel, romaine lettuce, radicchio and pomegranate seeds with a small bowl of lemon dressing on the side.

Vegetables and winter salad greens

  • Celery root: Also called “celeriac”, this gnarly-looking vegetable tastes like a milder version of green celery and it keeps in the fridge for at least a month or more. It’s related to the green celery we all know, only it’s grown for its root end rather than the stalks. Celery root is a really delicious vegetable to get to know. If you don’t have celery root, substitute with 1 cup thinly sliced green celery.
  • Radicchio: A type of Italian chicory, radicchio has vibrant red leaves and a slightly bitter taste. Substitute about 1 cup shredded red cabbage if you like.
  • Romaine lettuce: Salad green with sturdy, crunchy leaves. You can use light green romaine hearts for this salad.
  • Fresh fennel: “Finocchio” in Italian, this edible bulb has a lovely anise flavor and sweet crunchy texture. You’ll use the entire bulb plus the fronds.
  • Pomegranate seeds: Fresh pomegranate seeds add a lovely “pop” of juicy sweetness and crunch. You can easily replace them with 1/2 cup dried cranberries or dried cherries.

Creamy lemon dressing ingredients

The dressing for my winter salad is a creamy vinaigrette, boosted in flavor with a little anchovy (making good use for that jar you might have sitting in the pantry!).

It will remind you of a lighter version of caesar salad dressing — it’s a great match for the more assertive flavors of the radicchio and celery root.

Here’s what you need to make it:

  • Lemon
  • White wine vinegar
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Creme fraiche or sour cream
  • Garlic clove
  • Anchovy

Not a fan of anchovy or want to keep this salad vegetarian? Just omit it and add a pinch or two more salt.

Image of a salad in a bowl with a fork, with a serving bowl of winter greens salad with shaved fennel, romaine lettuce, radicchio and pomegranate seeds with a small bowl of lemon dressing on the side.

Tips & Tricks

How to prepare celery root for a salad:

  • Use a large sharp knife to slice off the top and root end.
  • Stand the celery root with one cut side down and remove the outer skin with the knife by slicing all around perpendicular to the cutting board.
  • Squeeze a little lemon juice over the celery root to keep it from going brown, then slice it very thinly. Stack the slices and slice into 1/8-inch wide matchsticks.

How to quickly remove seeds from a pomegranate

  • Slice the pomegranate in half through the equator.
  • Turn each half cut side-down over a bowl and smack it sharply with the back of wooden spoon – most of the seeds will fall out into the bowl.
Close up photo of a bowl with shaved fennel, radicchio leaves, salad greens and pomegranate seeds.

Winter salad ideas and variations:

Make this salad your own! Here are some ideas and add-ins you might enjoy:

  • Crumble blue cheese or feta over the salad
  • Add a handful or two of arugula greens or baby spinach
  • Top with chopped pistachios (or walnuts) for more color and texture
  • Add sliced pears, apples or fresh raspberries for a touch of sweetness

More winter salad recipes:

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Winter Salad with Fennel and Pomegranate

Karen Tedesco
A pretty winter salad to make with seasonal vegetables like fennel bulb, celery root, winter greens and pomegranate. Top it off with a simple creamy lemon dressing. So refreshing and nourishing!
Print Pin
4.95 from 18 votes
Prep Time 25 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

Lemon dressing:

  • Grated zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon white wine or rice vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt plus more to taste
  • 1 fat garlic clove, grated on a microplane or finely chopped
  • 1 anchovy fillet, rinsed and finely chopped
  • ¼ cup (60 g) crème fraiche or sour cream
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil

Make the salad:

  • 1 bunch romaine leave hearts, washed, dried and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cups (80 g) mixed baby greens, spinach or arugula
  • 1 small head radicchio, sliced into ribbons
  • 1 small celery root (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into matchsticks*
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, stems trimmed and feathery fronds reserved for garnish
  • ½ cup (82 g) fresh pomegranate seeds

Instructions 

  • To make the dressing, put the lemon zest, juice, vinegar, salt, garlic and anchovy in a blender or mini food processor, or combine in a small bowl until smooth. Add crème fraiche and olive oil and  blend/process until smooth and creamy (or whisk by hand). Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed.

Make the salad

  • Put the romaine, baby greens, radicchio, celery root and red onion in a large salad bowl.
  • Peel the base of the fennel bulb with a vegetable peeler to remove the tougher outer layer. Slice the fennel very thinly using a sharp knife or shave on a mandoline. Add to the salad bowl.
  • Pour half the dressing over the salad and toss gently.
  • Transfer the salad to a serving plate and arrange the reserved radicchio leaves around the salad. Drizzle with additional dressing and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. Garnish with fennel fronds.

Notes

  • To prep celery root, use a large sharp knife to slice off the top and root end; stand the celery root with one cut side down and remove the outer skin with the knife by slicing all around perpendicular to the cutting board. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the celery root to keep it from going brown, then slice it very thinly. Stack the slices and slice to make matchsticks.
  • Try this method for seeding a pomegranate: Slice in half through the equator, then turn each half cut side-down over a bowl; smack it sharply with the back of wooden spoon – the seeds will fall right out into the bowl.
  • Substitute 1 cup shredded red cabbage for the radicchio and 1 cup thinly sliced celery stalks for the celery root, if you prefer.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 176kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 340mg | Potassium: 618mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1457IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 2mg
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Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about making cooking fun and doable, with easy to follow tested recipes and incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

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15 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    this salad looks gorgeous! Definitely need to give it a try soon! Where are your backdrop boards from because this one is stunning!! Keep up the amazing recipes!!

    1. Thanks so much Kasey! The board in this photo was made by Erickson. Cheers!

    2. Christmas dinner for 26…Was a huge hit!!! Not only is this salad so beautiful the flavors together are amazing…it is a salad that feels good when your eating it! I did not include the anchovies, substituted the garlic w/shallots and added just a dollop of Greek yogurt to the dressing. a beautiful elegant, sophisticated salad! Thank you! (FYI I thru the recipe away after my daughter and i made it…a bit time consuming, but after seeing the beauty of it and the taste of it..i dug it back out of the trash to be sure i printed out the right one! Definitely a keeper and a remake!

      1. Also did not add the red onion!

  2. Carl Lauro says:

    5 stars
    This salad was served with Christmas dinner. The bitterness of the radicchio and celeriac and sweetness of the finocchio along with the creamy dressing and crunch of the pomegranates…well…one guest devoured it all once. Funny thing…I forgot to add evoo to my dressing.

    Good thing I “over shop” for ingredients. I made it again, the day after Christmas, and we didn’t leave anything in the bowl!

    Thanks, Karen and Happy Holidays!

    1. Yes – always a good idea to overshop! So happy you made this and everyone enjoyed (even without the EVOO!) Happy holidays to you xo

  3. 5 stars
    Made this to bring to a friend’s for dinner. Huge hit! That dressing is such a nice change. Had to improvise since pomegranates are out of season; used dried cherries for the tartness and sunflower seeds for the crunch. Definite keeper!

  4. 5 stars
    I love these wintery salads! This dressing will be a nice change from what i usually put on mine!

  5. 5 stars
    that celery root is staring into my soul

  6. The salad is stunning. We’ve been getting such great greenhouse grown lettuces at the farmers market. I look forward to trying the recipe!

    1. El-How lucky you are to have a winter farmer’s market! It tempers this beast of a winter to have stuff grown in a greenhouse. I could venture into Union Square to the market but haven’t been up to the trek…early spring for sure.

  7. That sounds like a wonderful winter salad and I happen to have a head of radicchio and a lonely celery root waiting to be put to good use in the fridge right now!

    1. Those celery roots do get lonely, poor things. Hope you make the best of yours.