Spinach, Pomegranate, Apple and Couscous Salad

Spinach, Apple, Pomegranate Couscous Salad

It was a hot day today. I went to the World’s Largest Louie Louie Sing-A-Long downtown so I was not interested in cooking or making anything difficult, but I wanted some rich and complex flavors. I kind of just started with some couscous and added what appealed until I ended up with something scrumptious.

  • 1/3 cup of couscous
  • 2/3rd cup of boiling water
  • Seeds from 1/2 pomegranate
  • 1 bunch of spinach
  • 1/3rd cup chopped red onion
  • 10 toasted almonds
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese
  • 1/2 granny smith apple, chopped.
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

I took 1/3 cup of couscous and poured  2/3rds cup of boiling water on top of it in a small bowl and put a lid on it. While it absorbed the boiling water, I prepped a pomegranate. I used all the seeds from half of a pomegranate.

There is a fast and easy way to prep pomegranates. Carefully cut through the skin without cutting deep, leaving the pomegranate seeds whole. Once you have cut through, give a little twist and it will separate into two halves. Take a half and pull and twist the edge a bit to loosen it, then turn it upside down in the palm of your hand and whack it hard over and over and all the seeds will fall out. I only needed half a pomegranate, but I cleaned both halves and stored half the seeds in a plastic container for another day.

I toasted some almonds in a clean dry skillet and chopped them in half after they cooled.

I cleaned and chopped a bunch of fresh spinach, chopped up some red onion and tossed them in with the pomegranates and couscous. I added some salt and pepper, the feta and toasted almonds.

I then chopped up 1/2 of a granny smith apple and tossed in some balsamic vinegar.

I put a lid on the bowl I was mixing this all up in, shook it up a bit and refrigerated for about an hour.

This was delicious and so rich in texture from the crispy apple, crunchy almonds, tender couscous and the juicy bursts of pomegranate. The flavor is grounded in the couscous, the spinach adds a nice fresh taste, the red onions a bit of heat, the apples some sweetness, the almonds some umame and the pomegranate a lovely sweet-sour tang. The feta gives a bit of richness, making it all come together in this big explosion of flavor and texture and color.

Makes two servings.

 

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts Salad

Roasted Brussels Sprouts Salad

I roasted some brussels sprouts and onion for dinner the other night. I really had to roast all my brussels sprouts because I had forgotten I had them and they were too close to turning. Cooking them would stop the process and give them a reset. So I roasted all of them with some onions, making far more than could be eaten in one meal. I stored in them in container in the fridge and made a salad the next day.  It was still a pretty big salad, making three servings in all.

I had about 2 cups of roasted brussels sprouts and bits of roasted onion. I cut the brussels sprouts in half or quarters depending on how big they were. Then I cut up an apple. I used a Gala, but any reasonably crisp and tart apple will do. I added about 1/4 cup of feta cheese and some salt and pepper. Then I added about 1/2 TBSP of white wine vinegar. I presumed that the olive oil used in roasting the brussels sprouts would be more than enough oil to balance the vinegar and i was right.

The salad was delicious. There’s a smokey sweetness to the roasted sprouts and onion and the apple adds its own tart sweetness. The feta adds an earthy tang and sour note that balances the sweetness perfectly, especially when brightened up by a bit of white wine vinegar.

 

Apple Rutabaga Slaw

Rutabaga Apple Slaw

This is a delicious, crunchy, crispy salad that’s full of flavor. To make it I peeled and chopped one rutabaga into small chunks. I also chopped up 4 cups of cabbage and 1/2 cup of red onion. I salted these lightly and let rest for 2 hours. Then I added 2 granny smith apples, the juice of one fresh lemon, 1 TBSP of walnut oil and 1/4 tsp of cayenne and a bit of pepper to taste.

Strong flavors from rutabaga, apples, onions and cayenne all provide earthiness, sweetness, and heat and are balanced beautifully by the cabbage. It’s even better the next day. This makes about 6 large servings.