I never notice pomegranates until they are gone. They appear in the grocery stores – usually on sale 2/$5 – for a couple months through the fall and winter, and then disappear the rest of the year. I wonder how I can get tomatoes all year round, but pomegranates only during select months? My point is that I save all these pomegranate recipes, forgetting to make them when I can find the fruits in season.
This recipe is very unique tasting. The pomegranate is sweet but very tart, adding a different flavor profile along with the nutty anise of the fennel and the citrus with herbs. It was fresh and had a bite, but will definitely make you stop and think, “Huh?” after the first bite. I think it’s the pomegranate seeds, which literally explode when you chew them.
Adapted from Bon Appetit:
Quinoa Salad with Fennel and Pomegranate
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium fennel bulbs (2 1/2 pounds), cut lengthwise into 1/4″-thick slices
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1 lemon
- 1 serrano chile, seeded, chopped (I omitted and just used a pinch red pepper flakes)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (I only had parsley – totally different)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint (didn’t use)
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill (hate dill)
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds (from 1/2 small pomegranate)
- Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add fennel; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fennel is just tender and lightly golden, 10–12 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, cumin, and sugar; cook for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, bring quinoa and 3 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until quinoa is cooked, about 10 minutes. Drain; return to pan. Cover; let sit for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork; transfer to a large bowl.
- Using a small sharp knife, cut all peel and white pith from lemon (an orange is good here, too). Cut between membranes to release segments; discard membranes and roughly chop. Add lemon with any juices and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil to quinoa; stir. Add fennel mixture, chile, and herbs. Toss gently to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer salad to a platter; sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.
We had this with some vegetarian tacos that a friend (Teri from A Foodie Stays Fit) made – it was a healthy little lunch!
Enjoy, friends! xoxo