This is my new favorite salad. I forgot how Hazelnuts made everything taste Christmassy (or is that just me?), and for the first time in my life, I deseeded a pomegranate. Actually I had given it a go once before but gave up quickly when realizing I was getting roughly ten seeds out per minute. This time I had a plan, thanks to GI 365 and her Pomegranates 101 crash course. We don’t stress this enough, but food blogging is like a constant flow of technology transfers. I have gained so much know-how thanks to the trials and errors of other people. So it’s my turn to give something back to the community, starting with what I have learned NOT TO DO when deseeding a pomegranate… and that is 1) never try to get the seeds out using a fork or a spoon – life WILL go on without you while you pursue this endless and impossible endeavor; 2) never, ever, EVER try to deseed a pomegranate facing a white wall… it will look like you butchered someone in your own kitchen.
Salad musings aside, life has been rather grand (isn’t it always around the Holidays?). I was in Paris for two sweet and cozy weeks with my parents, which would also explain my going blog-MIA for 2 weeks. We had such lovely weather despite the cold temperatures. In my opinion there is nothing more wonderful in the winter than a very cold and crisp air along with a bright blue sky big rays of sunshine. Add to that the smell of roasted chestnuts on each street corner and Christmas tunes playing in my ears for two weeks – it was close to perfect bliss. I got back in Sao Paulo on Sunday just before Christmas. It was the first year my family and I couldn’t be together this year for the Holidays. That’s what happens when you live on three different continents: sometimes logistics get rough. But at least I got the chance to spend some time with my parents beforehand and also made the best of being in France to take long walks in Paris, drink mulled wine, wander around the Christmas markets, catch up with friends, eat paté, stock up on Yogi tea, rediscover French sarcasm and whine about the tropical humidity and traffic in Sao Paulo with people who truly appreciate complaining as part of their national culture. Aaaah to be French!
Back in Brazil, Freddy and I were invited to spend Christmas in the family of a dear friend of ours. We were so blessed to be surrounded by such warmth and generosity for the Holidays. The food was amazing – I can’t recall how many different turkeys, smoked hams and varieties of rice, salads and cakes were on the table but we enjoyed every part of it. I hope everyone’s Christmas was filled with joy, love, laughter and, as always, delicious food!
For the Salad
Half a purple cabbage head
4 cups mix of fresh spinach and beet greens
6-8 red radishes
1/2 cup (75g) hazelnuts
3 tbsp fresh cilantro
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tsp Pink Himalayan salt
For the dressing
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tbsp dijon mustard
Juice from Pomegranate
Salt and pepper
1. Chop the purple cabbage very thinly and place in a bowl. Add a teaspoon of salt and gently toss the cabbage with your hands, squishing it lightly between your palms to make it more tender. Do this for a minute.
2. Peel the skin from the carrot. Using your normal peeler or a mandolin slicer, peel thin strips of carrots and add to the salad. Wash the radishes, trim off the ends and cut into thin slivers with a mandolin slicer or a sharp knife. Add radishes and greens to the salad bowl and toss to combine.
3. Seed the pomegranate (see how to seed a pomegranate in under a minute here). Add pomegranate seeds, hazelnuts, cilantro and fennel seeds to the bowl. Add salt and a fresh crack of pepper.
4. Make the dressing by vigorously whisking together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Divide the salad into plates and serve with a drizzle of dressing.