Fennel, feta and pomegranate salad

Fennel, feta and pomegranate salad
Fennel, feta and pomegranate salad

Based in one of Ottolenghi’s book recipes, and part of my own Salad week.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pomegranate
  • 2 fennel heads, sliced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp sumac
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 tbsp tarragon leaves
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 70 g feta cheese in cubes

We quite liked this one; the very thinly sliced fennel contrasted nicely with the tarragon, and the pomegranate seeds added beautiful sweet notes, although…

  1. instead of using feta I used some other semi-soft cheese because my dearest spouse doesn’t like feta (“too salty!”), but then I felt like it needed more salt because the substitute cheese was too mellow, so I just added more salt to my portion.
  2. also the juice of one lemon was a lot; everything tasted too sour for my taste. Next time I’ll use less.
  3. it’s very important to make sure the tarragon isn’t dry, otherwise the slightest hard bit tastes like eating dry grass. So you might need to spend a lot of time plucking the leaves off the branches and making sure they’re nice.

On the other hand, I was very excited about using sumac, which I had not used before. I love learning how to use new ingredients, and also “sumac” reminds me of one of my favourite singers: Yma Sumac, a Peruvian wonder whose voice had something like a five octaves range…!

On deseeding pomegranates

In the interest of science (and maybe finding a better method than mine), I decided to give a go to the book’s method to deseed the pomegranate, which involves slicing the pomegranate in two and bashing the back with a wooden spoon until the seeds get loose. What this caused was an explosion of pomegranate juice and seeds around the counter, and a general feeling of discomfort on me. Next time I’ll be back to my usual deseeding method, which involves submerging pomegranate quarters in water and loosening the seeds with your hands. Maybe less theatrical, but cleaner, and way less splosh-prone.

Incidentally, I really liked how geometrical the pomegranate looked when sliced in half, prior to deseeding 😃

Pomegranate sliced in half
Pomegranate sliced in half

Don’t forget to check out the rest of salads we ate during Salad Week! 😄

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