Is there a more cheerful looking fruit than the pomegranate? It’s bright red seeds and scarlet juice add a celebratory touch to anything it garnishes. Only nature could have made such a merry, vibrant colour!
There used to be a quaint organic store near me that made a wonderful quinoa salad. I’ve copied their recipe as close as I can remember and then threw in a bunch of pomegranate seeds for their seasonal freshness. Surprisingly, they are a complement to the quinoa, interjecting a fresh juiciness to the fluffiness of the grain. Add some hazelnuts and scallions and you have yourself a healthy and delicious salad …..
While pomegranates sport a beautiful rich colour, they are often avoided because of the finickiness of the seeds and their hard centre. In this salad, you consume the complete seed, as it’s rich in fibre as well as numerous other health benefits: a potent antioxidant the pomegranate can aid in removing free radicals, therefore protecting cells from damage and reducing inflammation. With a high concentration of Vitamin C, this fruit also can help control dental plaque and there are some studies that show the possibility of it improving some symptoms of heart disease.
If you’re looking for a healthy, quick and nutritious salad, look no further. Your fill of antioxidants and a whiter smile — you can’t get much better than that!
Pomegranate Quinoa Festive Salad
A fresh splash of scarlet Pomegranate seeds in a hearty salad.
- 1 cup hazelnuts
- 4 cups cooked quinoa (which equals about 1 ¾ cups dried)
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 green onions (scallions), chopped
- ¾ cup Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
- zest from one lemon
- juice from ½ lemon
- ½ tsp sea salt, or Himalayan salt
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- 2 pomegranates (or more, if you like!)
Roast the hazelnuts in a 350ºF oven for about 10 minutes until golden. Roll in a dish towel to get off as much skin as possible. Chop and set aside.
Put quinoa in a large bowl and toss with olive oil.
Add green onions, parsley and hazelnuts.
Toss with lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Taste, and adjust the seasoning, if needed.
Cut open the pomegranates, pick out the seeds and place in a bowl. Add the seeds to the salad and toss everything together. Serve.
For a fluffy quinoa, make sure you rise it well before using. It's a little finicky, I know, but you want to wash off as much of the starch as possible so it doesn't stick together. And, voilà!, a fluffy quinoa salad!
Food for Thought: “Love is a wonderful thing. It is more precious than emeralds and dearer than fine opals. Pearls and pomegranates cannot buy it, nor is it set forth in the marketplace. It may not be purchased of the merchants, nor can it be weighed out in the balance for gold.” ~ Oscar Wilde