“A recipe is a story that ends with a good meal.” ~Pat Conroy
When I came across this quote on Instagram a while back, it really resonated with me. Poetic. True. It puts into words the deep meaning food can have for so many people, be it related to our childhoods, places we’ve lived in, places we love, or good times with friends.
This past Saturday, all of these things came together. During a weekend trip to Silicon Valley, I visited an old friend from Boston. She had made a delicious meal, including roasted colorful carrots, delicious vegan eggplant patties, quinoa with sweet potatoes, and lemon chicken wings. But what really stood out to me was the salad she made. I couldn’t get enough of it.
First, it had pomegranate in it. I know that’s pretty common in the U.S., but when I was growing up in Lebanon, salads were decisively salty. As a result, I don’t usually like fruits in salads. This was definitely an exception, especially because the pomegranate was always a special fruit growing up. Of course, we only had it once a year when it was in season– and we usually got it from the garden of our old family home in the country that we went to on weekends. I still remember the tree and how delighted I would be when the fruits appeared on it when I was a kid.
Second, the salad had avocado in it, (which was a really nice contrast in both texture and flavor to the sharp pomegranate seeds). We had been laughing all evening about the particular foods we eat in California (avocado, kale, etc., etc.,), and how our loved ones who don’t live here tease us about our eating habits.
Third, a simple dressing of olive oil and vinegar complemented the ingredients perfectly.
I didn’t even think about what a healthy salad of “superfoods” it was until I recreated it yesterday for my book club. So, so good. So, so simple. And so, so easy. I had to share it on this blog.
Iram’s California Superfood Salad
- 1 pomegranate
- 2 large avocados (3 small)
- 10 oz spinach (I recommend buying bags of pre-washed baby leaves from places like Trader Joe’s. Makes it so much simpler).
- 1 English cucumber
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp red vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
Seed the pomegranate. Yesterday, convinced I had been doing it wrong all along because it felt too onerous and complicated, I Googled “easy way to seed pomegranate” and found this great video:
Peel and cut the avocados. Again, Instagram taught me a simple, quick way to do it that I’m very proud of:
Wash the cucumber, slice it in half and then cut into small pieces.
Toss all the ingredients together. Add the olive oil, vinegar and salt. Ta-da.
I also was inspired to roast multi-colored whole carrots like my friend did on Saturday:
- Scrub the carrots well.
- Toss in coconut oil, salt and pepper.
- Roast at 400 F for around 40 minutes, turning them over halfway.
And I finally tried out this amazing, simple Pumpkin Alfredo recipe that I had found, again, on Instagram (which is clearly so good for food tips!), and highly recommend.
Here’s to good seasonal food shared with friends!
P.S. Can we discuss for a moment how beautiful these carrots are? Our natural world is amazing.