Wintertime is pomegranate time. During this season, the fruit grows in Spain and Italy and markets here are flooded with it. So a couple of days ago, when I hadn’t received my copy of Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s Jerusalem: A Cookbook yet, I found a wonderful recipe by them (which is not included in that book though) that contains pomegranate, fennel (a winter vegetable, too) and quinoa (gluten-free). And since the pomegranate I bought was so big and I only needed half of it for the recipe, I also made a pomegranate and olive relish inspired by The Kitchn.
Quinoa, Pomegranate and Fennel Salad
3 TS olive oil
1 medium fennel bulb, cut lengthwise into thin slices
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 TS lemon juice
1/2 ts ground cumin
1/2 ts raw cane sugar
110g quinoa, rinsed to remove bittern
1/2 green chile, seeded, chopped
3 TS chopped fresh cilantro
3 TS chopped fresh mint
1/2 ts chopped fresh dill
seeds of 1/2 pomegranate
1. Heat 2 TS of the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the fennel and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fennel is tender and lightly golden (about 10–12 minutes). Stir in the lemon juice, cumin, and sugar and cook for about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, bring the quinoa and 270ml water to a boil in a pot. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until quinoa is cooked (about 10 minutes). Set aside and let cool.
3. Gently mix the quinoa with the remaining 1 TS olive oil, add the fennel mixture, chile, pomegranate and herbs. Toss gently to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper.
Pomegranate Olive Relish
(makes one small bowl)
110g green olives, sliced and pitted
40g cup roasted pistachios (I used pine seeds)
110g pomegranate seeds
1 TS minced shallots
2 ts finely chopped fresh mint
2 TS olive oil
2 ts pomegranate molasses (I used maple syrup instead)
dash of lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
1. Coarsely slice the green olives and chop the pistachios/pine seeds to roughly the size of the pomegranate seeds or a bit smaller.
2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and season to taste. Depending on the flavor of the pomegranates and olives, you may need more or less lemon juice and salt.
3. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to a day before serving.
4. Serve with crackers, bread, or pita chips. Delicious on crostini with goat cheese.