It's been a medley of warm and cold, of late, and on Sunday, a day which tilted toward sunny and fair, Rémi and I went to Bois de Vincennes. There, we ate leftovers from the previous night's dinner (Rémi had prepared a 5 course meal for my birthday, which was yesterday!), drank wine and napped under the sun. It was a simple pleasure that, after months of cold and grey, inspired inner satisfaction and confidence in the upcoming summer.
With the coming of summer, though, is the going of pomegranate. Being able to access pomegranate is one of my many favourite things about living in France, as I was rarely able to access pomegranate in Australia. When I did, they were dry and barren and always seemed to be imported from elsewhere. To say the least, they were disappointing.
In fact, my first positive experience with pomegranate didn't take place until I was 22 years old. I was in Varanasi, India. Pomegranate seeds were strewn through a lassi that was, if I remember correctly, spiced with cardamon. That lassi is not only one of my unforgettable food experiences, but is also the cause of my late-blooming love of pomegranate.
Here's a hearty-ish salad that's so fitting for times like now (weather-wise). It's a fusion of hearty lentils, nuts, rice and spiced steamed carrot, contrasted against fresh pomegranate and mint.
Also: in French, a pomegranate is called 'une grenade'. This totally kills me with its adorableness and aptness!
- cooked rice (basmati, wild and brown rice all do well)
- cooked green lentils
- carrot, cubed and steamed
- pomegranate seeds
- almonds, some whole, some chopped
- walnuts, some whole, some chopped
- mint, some whole, some chopped
- parsley, chopped
- cumin powder
- cinnamon powder
- lemon juice
- sesame oil (not too much as it's very strong! Splice with olive oil, if you like)
I mix the rice, lentils, carrots, pomegranate and spices, as well as the parsley, mint, almonds and walnuts that have been chopped, in with some lemon juice and sesame oil (and sometimes a bit of olive oil, if it seems too dry). Then I layer on some whole leaves and nuts, like in the above picture, for pretty points. And there you have it!