There is something nice about a Sunday. Something quiet and still, something sleepy. I went for a long, Sunday drive this morning on my own, something I don’t often do. But I felt like exploring, and I needed to find some good apple trees to pilfer for the apple butter I plan to spend my afternoon making (a chair pulled next to the oven, a wooden spoon, a cup of tea, a book). I liked seeing people gathered at kitchen tables through warmly lit windows, I liked the smoke curling out of the chimneys, I liked the way the grass glowed in the cloudy November light. It left with me a feeling that only a Sunday can.
I came home to be snug at my own kitchen table, and ate a bowl of this delicious salad – a beautiful contrast of crisp vegetables, mint and tart pomegranate with the heartiness of quinoa – that I think I may be eating quite a lot more of this winter. Especially since I now have my first ever bottle of pomegranate molasses in the cupboard. Have you tried it? Amazing stuff that. I can’t believe it took me so long to try it.
Quinoa salad with cauliflower, pomegranate and mint
Adapted from a recipe in Casa Moro by Sam and Sam Clark.
For the salad:
- 1 cup red or black quinoa
- 1/2 medium sized cauliflower, broken into tiny florets
- 1/2 fennel bulb, trimmed and finely chopped
- 6-7 radicchio leaves, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1/8 cup finely chopped mint
- seeds of 1 pomegranate, all membranes removed
For the dressing:
- 1 smallish shallot, finely minced
- 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
- 1/3 cup walnut oil (or other mild oil like sunflower or extra virgin olive oil)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon organic sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Place the quinoa in a medium saucepan over moderate heat. Stir occasionally until fragrant and nutty, and then cover with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Cover, let come to a boil, and then turn down to a gentle simmer until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy. Discard the water by dumping the quinoa into a large mesh strainer, and then rinse with cold water until cooled.
While the quinoa is cooking, whisk together the ingredients for your dressing in a small bowl.
Place the quinoa and remaining ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss well. Taste and add more salt, pepper or a trickle more pomegranate molasses if desired. Serve garnished with a few torn mint leaves over the top.
P.S. On a side note, my friend Iris of Blue Flag Medicinals and I are offering a Winter Herb Share (a box of handmade herbal goodies designed for winter wellness) for those of you who live in Vermont. For more information, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.