Fall has hit Buenos Aires, and so has the autumn produce: squash, mandarin oranges, apples, eggplant, tomatoes and my personal favorite: pomegranate (granada). Who cares if I’ve been staining my clothes and entire kitchen with the deep red juicy seed dye, totally worth it to reap the benefits of this super food. Pomegranates are a wonderful all-purpose fruit, whether in a cocktail, yogurt, dessert or just to bring some tart sweetness to a savory dish. Since Israeli Salad is pretty much my go-to jam, I thought I’d pep it up a bit with some festive pomegranates, quinoa, goat cheese and toasted almonds.
First things first, how the hell do you even handle a pomegranate? A labor intensive peeling job, there are a few tricks to easily make it rain pomegranate pebbles. Watch this Martha Stewart video to learn how to properly de-seed a pomegranate, while also witnessing America’s homemaking sweetheart as her overall batshit OCD self.
This salad is super easy, healthy and with lots of flavor. First, finely chop up all the raw vegetables place in a bowl to make the Israeli salad. I like to keep it traditionally Israeli: tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, parsley, red/green peppers and dressed with lemon juice, a squirt of olive oil, salt and pepper. This might sound obvious, but the key is to make sure each one of the vegetables is really good quality, and tastes good on its own. The worst is when you chop away and mix all together, only to find out your cucumber went sour.
Next cook up some quinoa. The best way to make quinoa, so that you get rid of the rocks and soap-like quality, is soaking it in water for about 20 minutes and then place it in a strainer and rinse really well. Check here or here to find out how to perfectly cook quinoa. I’m not a fan of warm chopped salads, so I tend to make the quinoa in advance, and then pop in the fridge until it’s cool.
Once the quinoa is cooled, add it to the Israeli salad, mix it up, add the pomegranates, and mix it up some more.
Since I’m such a fancy kinda girl, I thought I’d make the salad extra gourmet and add what my broke ass considers to be luxury ingredients: toasted almonds (chopped up) and slices of herbed goat cheese from fancier whole paycheck cheese shop Franco Parma.
You don’t need to over season or add a dressing to this salad — the vegetables give it a watery crunch plus the pomegranate juice tends to seep through the whole mixture anyway. Just season with some more salt, fresh pepper, squirt of lemon juice and immediately grab a spoon and overeat it.
Pomegranate Quinoa Israeli Salad
- 1 cucumber, chopped
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 (small) red onion
- 1 red or green pepper (or one of each), chopped
- Handful of parsley, chopped
- 1 lemon, squeezed and juiced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 pomegranate, de-seeded
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked and cooled
- Almonds, toasted and chopped (optional for fancy bitches)
- Herbed goat cheese (again, optional if you want to show off)
1. Finely chop all vegetables into tiny bite sized pieces. Dress with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix up well and stick in the fridge to cool.
2. Cook the quinoa. This can be prepped before, make sure to let it cool before mixing with the cold vegetables because warm quinoa + cold salad = thumbs down.
3. De-seed pomegranate, make sure to put on your best, most expensive, white outfit, maybe even your wedding dress, and hack on that pompom.
4. Toast almonds, chop up cheese.
5. Mix it all together, season to taste.
For more recipes using pomegranate:
The Huffington Post has this nice list of 28 pomegranate recipes as does BBC Good Food. And since we all like to share online what we had for #breakfast, I’ve also been adding it on Hausbrot toast+queso crema or granola+yogurt in the morning.