Quinoa salad with cauliflower, pomegranate and mint

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. 

Serves 4. 

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 teacupbotanicals@gmail.com.

Comments

  1. Anna says:

    Fantastic looking salad, Will definitely need to try it out.

    Thanks for the idea!

  2. Great looking salad. I adore pomegranate molasses – I always have at least one bottle in the kitchen. I like that combination of the molasses and walnut oil a lot.

    • Danielle Charles says:

      Hi Phil,

      It is divine, isn’t it? I think my cupboard will never be without a bottle henceforth. Thanks for your comment!
      XOXO
      D

  3. Michelle says:

    I love the Moro cookbooks, too. Beautiful photos!

    • Danielle Charles says:

      Hi Michelle,
      I’ve just got Casa Moro for now, but you know the other two are on my Christmas list :) Thanks so much for your comment.
      XOXO
      D

  4. Marqueta says:

    Dear Danielle,

    What a delicious idea! I’ve never heard of pomegranate molasses, but you can be sure I’ll be looking for it. :) We love quinoa, but I’ve forgotten to buy any lately, so I’ll have to get some of the, too!

    Blessings to you,

    Marqueta

    • Danielle Charles says:

      Hi Marqueta,
      It is the most delicious thing – dark and molassesy but tart and sweet too. I think it tastes like cherries and pomegranates fused together. I hope you enjoy the salad, and happy Thanksgiving to you!
      D

  5. Lucinda says:

    Umm this looks delicious! I love quinoa, especially the texture, it has something very satisfying about it.
    I have read about pomegranate molasses but never found any here. i wonder if they are more popular in the US than in the UK. I will have to do some more serious investigation as this dish definitely warrants it.
    Lots of love and a very happy Thanksgiving to you my dearest xxxx

    • Danielle Charles says:

      I had never even thought to look for it until I saw it frequently mentioned in Casa Moro as an ingredient. I guess it must of somehow ended up in my brain because I found myself looking for it at the store – and there it was in the ethnic food section! I hope you’ll be able to find some too :) I’ve become addicted to it – adding it to my oatmeal, drizzling it on yogurt. My new favorite thing.
      Thanks for your thanksgiving wishes – I almost went to wish you a happy one to but then I remembered that it’s not a holiday there. I hope you have a happy day nonetheless :)
      D

  6. Gorgeous. I have not yet tried pomegranate molasses. Now I have an excellent reason.

  7. I will have to look for that molasses! If I can’t find it, I wonder about infusing my own!? I might try it as I would love to try this recipe just as you created it! I adore quinoa:)big hugs and much love xx