winter salad with pomegranate molasses
Who said salads are for summer when a winter salad with pomegranate molasses dressing looks and tastes as delicious as this? If you can find some bitter leaves in your local veg shop, radicchio, some chicory, watercress perhaps, you have yourself a winter salad. Although hard to find in the UK, Riverford sometimes have dandelion salad leaves in their veg boxes. The bitter taste of leaves are not shunned in Lebanon. Dandelion chicory, also popular in Italy, is cooked and served with fried onions as a cold dish. Since they are good for our digestive system, it would seem sense to make good use of bitter leaves if you can find any in an enterprising greengrocer.
Armed with a couple of blood oranges, and a fennel to slice finely with a mandolin, you’ll be needing some pomegranate molasses for a dressing before it reaches the table.
A citrus dressing made from Zejd’s delicious Lebanese extra virgin olive oil and a tablespoon of Zejd’s Lebanese pomegranate molasses. You won’t find any added sugar or flavourings in Zejd’s special citrusy molasses.The depth of flavour comes from the reduction of a cooking variety of pomegranate grown in Lebanon.The juice is filtered and reduced slowly to a thick deep red brown syrupy consistency.It has sharpness, as well as depth, and a little goes a long way. It brings such character to a salad, that even if you can’t find the most beautiful radicchio, you will at least have a winter salad full of zing!
- Tear the radicchio leaves, pull apart the chicory and place in a salad bowl. Using a mandolin, with care, finely slice the fennel (or use a knife).
- Cut the top and bottom off the blood oranges and with a sharp knife remove the peel in a spiral, so there is no pith left on the fruit. Then cut the segments away from the inner skin. Add these to the bowl of salad.
- To make the dressing, put the juice of half a blood orange in a separate bowl and add a pinch of salt. Then add the pomegranate molasses, thyme (if using), extra virgin olive oil and whisk until the dressing is beautifully emulsified. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
- When ready to eat, pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Sprinkle the walnuts on top before serving.
Delicious eaten alongside a plate of labneh and Zejd’s extra virgin olive oil and some crusty bread.