It’s not often that I’ll order a salad when I’m out- salad bar salads always seem either to shiny (i.e. oily) and if I’m in a restaurant, it’s never the most exciting item on the menu. So when we visited Embers Mezze Bar earlier this year, it was a good thing we ordered the banquet- or else I would never have tried the amazing cauliflower and pomegranate salad!
It’s a shame the lighting was too dark to get a good photo of the original salad, but it was rather unique in flavour combination of cauliflower and pomegranate. I’m not usually a fan of cauliflower by itself, but deep-fried, it was amazingly moresish and the addition of crunchy almonds and pomegranate seeds made for an excellent textural contrast.
I’d definitely order the salad to have as a main for myself next time, but in the meantime, the folks at Embers have been kind enough to share the recipe online. The ingredients are quite simple, with the exception of fresh pomegranate and pomegranate molasses which are a little harder to find- but the salad is just not the same without these. I’ve roasted the cauliflower instead of deep-drying so my version is not quite as impressive in the looks department as the Embers version. But the taste is quite similar to the original, and definitely a winner in my books!
Embers Cauliflower and Pomegranate Salad
- 1/2 cauliflower
- 1 tin chickpeas, drained
- 50 grams rocket (I substituted with baby spinach)
- 1/2 bunch mint
- 1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
- 2 tablespoons roast pinenuts
- pomegranate molasses
- 75 ml red wine vinegar
- 75 ml lemon juice
- 250 ml olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- Heat oil in a deep fryer to 180 degrees C. Prepare the cauliflower in florets. Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well.
- In a large bowl, combine 1/2 the chickpeas, roughly chopped rocket, parsley and mint.
- Place the cauliflower florets in the basket of the deep fryer and cook until a nice golden colour.
- When cooked, transfer the cauliflower onto kitchen paper and pat well.
- Add the still warm cauliflower to the chickpea and rocket mix. Add enough dressing to give the salad a nice sheen without drowning it.
- Mix lightly. Arrange on a large flat plate and then scatter with fresh pomegranates and the pinenuts.
- To complete the salad, drizzle a light stream of pomegranate molasses all over for a nice sweet balance to the dish.
Adapted from Food Wine Travel
Berry Nutritious http://berrynutritious.com.au/
With spring well and truly here, my soups and stews which I’ve been making for lunch have to made way for lighter salads but I thought I’d just quickly squeeze in this delicious pea and ham soup before it becomes too warm to post it!
Believe it or not, this is the first time I’ve ever had a proper pea and ham soup- having grown up on mostly on mum’s Asian soups or very occasionally, our handy collection of tinned condensed soups- which we tend to use for pasta moreso than as a soup anyway.
It was a rather odd craving for peas that I had the other day, which prompted me to make this classic pea and ham soup, seeing as it was the first, and only, pea based dish that popped up in my head. I’m sure there’s plenty of delicious pea recipes out there but the only time I usually use peas is in their frozen form when I’ve injured myself. (don’t worry, I bought a new bag of frozen peas to use for this soup!)
My family were quite reluctant to give this one a try, having only previously tried the ridiculously salty canned varieties, However, they were pleasantly surprised by this version.We found that the salty ham taste wasn’t quite as overbearing and instead, complimented the fresh sweetness of the vegetables quite well. The recipe makes quite a number of servings but we finished it all in no time!
The soup is super easy to make, with the most time consuming step being the trimming of the ham hocks, which wasn’t part of the recipe anyway, but there was so much fat on mine that I couldn’t bear throwing that into the soup mixture. I also threw a couple of extra veggies in there which is why mine isn’t a nice green colour but the end result was delicious all the same. This recipe will definitely be making a comeback next winter!
Pea and Ham Soup
- 40 gm butter, coarsely chopped
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 ham hocks (about 800gm each)
- 750 gm dried green split peas
- 360 gm (3 cups) frozen baby green peas, defrosted
- 1 baguette, halved lengthways and cut into 5cm pieces
- 60 ml (¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil
- 60 gm softened butter
- ¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tbsp thyme
- ½garlic clove, finely chopped
- Heat butter in a large saucepan over low-medium heat, add onion and garlic and sauté until tender (10-12 minutes). Add ham hocks, cover with cold water (about 4 litres), bring to the simmer, reduce heat to low and cook until ham is falling from the bone (1-1½ hours). Remove hocks from saucepan, set aside to cool and, when cool enough to handle, remove skin and bone (discard), coarsely shred meat and set aside.
- Meanwhile, add split green peas to stock and simmer until very tender (45 minutes-1 hour). Add baby peas (reserve some for garnish if desired) and simmer until bright green (1-2 minutes). Purée in batches in a blender until smooth, add shredded ham to soup (reserve a little for garnish if desired), season to taste and keep warm.
- Meanwhile, for herb butter, combine ingredients in a small bowl, season to taste and set aside.
- Preheat a grill to high. Place baguette cut-side up on a baking tray and grill until golden (1-2 minutes each side), then spread with herb butter. Serve with hot soup topped with reserved baby peas (steamed until bright green) and shredded ham.
Berry Nutritious http://berrynutritious.com.au/
You know winter is actually here when you have to set your alarm fifteen minutes earlier in the morning to allow for the struggle of getting out of your warm bed in the morning. And when your walk to work takes about half the usual time because you’re power walking to bring your heart rate up.
Ahhhh winter. It feels like you went away not that long ago!
I feel like it was only yesterday that I was packing away my winter coats, ugg boots and thick blankets and now I’m taking them back out again! Also making a reappearance is my trusty thermal cooker, which I have started using again on a weekly basis for my repertoire of soups, curries, stews and whatever else warm I can think of to get me through the winter.