As I think I said in an earlier blog, pomegranates are one of my new favourite foods - they have a beautiful citrus tang and can be used in both savory and sweet dishes. Tonight I use the pomegranate seeds I did not use for the pavlova last night.
A lot of people have been asking me about pomegranates since I starting using them in my cooking recently. They are now available from supermarkets, although I have to say the quality is far superior when you buy them from fruit and vegetable shops (although they are a little more expensive).
To remove the seeds, while it is tempting to pretend you are Jamie Oliver or Nigella Lawson and bang the back of the pomegranate with a wooden spoon, I find doing this is slow and messy. I find it far easier and to cut the pomegranate in quarters, sock the quarters in water for a few minutes and then break apart and remove the seeds. Thanks Good Taste Magazine for this tip!
Okay, quantities. I made this salad in the quantities listed below for Mark and me for dinner tonight. But, I like to serve us a huge salad for dinner, with a smaller amount of meat. So, if serving with meat and other sides, it could probably serve 4 people.
I have used baby spinach (simply because it was what I had in the fridge and I love it), but you could use any mild tasting lettuce. I would not use anything too peppery or bitter though (such as rocket or radicchio) as the other flavours in the salad could be over-powered. (Although I may try this out just to check.)
Remember to taste your salad before serving. I tend to just throw things together, so some of my quantities may not work for you. I also know that people like things prepared in different ways. For example, my mum does not like too much salad dressing. I prefer a little more lemon juice than others might. So, I suggest adding a little less than I have suggested, and then adding more to taste.
I've used a whole avocado because I adore it, but if watching your weight, use less.
Stay tuned for a middle eastern inspired pomegranate and pistachio rice salad I am working on perfecting.
75-100g baby spinach
1/4 cup raw and shelled raw pistachios roughly chopped
1/2 lebanese cucumber chopped
1/2 bunch chives sliced
1/4 - 1/2 cup mint roughly chopped (add mint to taste - I like more mint)
Seeds of 1/2 pomegranate
1 avocado sliced into cubes
2-3 tablespoons olive oil (quantity depends on how much dressing you prefer)
Juice of half a lemon
Salt to taste
Combine baby spinach, pistachios, cucumber, chives, mint, pomegranate seeds and avocado in a bowl. Whisk together olive oil and lemon juice and combine with remaining ingredients just prior to serving. Toss with clean hands. Add salt to taste.