It was a one of those work nights, my mind had gone into park and I just wanted to curl up on a comfortable couch and eat something I would regret. I was hungry, and feeling more slothful than usual.
I am on a journey to eat more vegetarian meals this year, and learning to make the most of the unadulterated flavours of vegetables and fruits. I’ve reconciled to the fact that I’ll never be the carrot/celery stick munching person, cheerfully cycling to work. (Admittedly a cheerful commuter seems like an oxymoron). I’ll only avail myself to the lower half of the food pyramid if it hits all the right flavour notes.
I had a pomegranate and avocado in the fridge that were getting past their best by date, and found the recipe for the pomegranate vinaigrette online. This was surprising quick to throw together. The dish looks great (the colours!), and tastes even better. It is sweet, but balanced with the salty niblets of feta, creamy avocado and tang of the onion. It even keeps well overnight for the work lunchbox.
Ingredients (serves 4 as a side dish, or 2 as a main):
Salad leaves, as much as you like
½ red onion
50g feta, cubed
¼ cup pomegranate seeds
chopped pistachios for garnish (optional)
¼ cup pomegranate molasses
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 heaped Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp honey, or more to taste
½ cup olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
To make the vinaigrette: add all the ingredients except the olive oil to a large bowl. Whisk well. Continue to whisk while pouring the olive oil in a thin stream into the mixture.
Segment the oranges, by removing the skin and white pith, then cutting out the orange wedges between the membranes.
Slice the avocado. Slice the red onion thinly. Tear or cut the salad leaves into chunks.
To remove the pomegranate seeds, score a circle around the middle of the pomegranate. Twist to open. Cup the upside-down the pomegranate half, and give it several good satisfying whacks with the back of a wooden spoon. Add as much of the jewelled orbs as you like.
Toss the salad ingredients with the vinaigrette to taste. Garnish with some chopped pistachios and more of the pomegranate seeds.