Friday 4 January 2013

Pomegranate and lemon salad

When we were planning our Christmas menus, Paul asked me to roast a duck. A perfectly reasonable request - too expensive for every day but a lovely treat - but I couldn't really fit it into the specifically festive feasting. So I bought the duck, and in the slightly flat hinterland between Christmas and New Year we roasted it.
Slow roasted and basted with mulberry molasses

I had leftover pomegranate arils and pistachio nuts from our Boxing Day dessert, so I decided to make them into a salad to go with the duck. This sent me in a Middle Eastern direction with the flavours, so I roasted the duck slowly, basting it a couple of times with a little mulberry molasses, and made megadarra - rice and lentils with crisp caramelised onions - to go on the side.

I was very happy with how all of it turned out. I've never cooked the onions slowly enough to get the right crisp brown effect that is what really makes megadarra, so getting it right this time was a bit of a personal triumph. And I have roasted a whole duck before but Paul thinks I haven't - which means it must have been a long time ago.

The salad was the biggest success of the meal though. Sour, sweet, juicy, crunchy and extremely beautiful - everything you want in a salad to lift a fatty, starchy meal. Definitely worth making, even if you have to buy the ingredients specially. It would be brilliant with some good hummus and warm flatbread, or even as a topping for a lentil soup.

Pomegranate and lemon salad

2 lemons
1 shallot
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
100g pistachio nuts
1 pomegranate.

Thinly slice the shallot and place in a bowl. Cut the lemons into segments (slicing between the membranes), catching all the juices, and put the segments and juice on top of the shallot slices. Sprinkle with the sugar and salt and allow to macerate for about half an hour. Roughly chop the pistachio nuts and bash out the pomegranate arils (cut the pomegranate in half, place the cut side on the palm of one hand over a bowl and bash the daylights out of it with a wooden spoon). Add the nuts and pomegranate to the bowl of lemon and shallot, stir well to combine and serve.


Susan said...

Nice looking recipe. Great way to serve duck; fatty duck is so tasty with these bright accompaniments.

leaf (the indolent cook) said...

Love a fresh, tangy salad! The duck and the onions look fantastic, too.

Alicia Foodycat said...

Susan - thank you!

Leafy - it was a very successful meal.

Angie's Recipes said...

The duck looks so good! Wonderful to serve with the fresh and light salad.

Couscous & Consciousness said...

What a sensational salad - I could actually make a meal of that on its own, but I bet it was absolutely wonderful with roast duck. Yum!

hungryandfrozen said...

What an utterly stunning salad! I haven't eaten any pomegranates this Christmas, normally I have at least one lurking around. What an oversight!

Also, I like your use of the word hinterland - it really is, at that time of year!

Alicia Foodycat said...

Angie - thank you, it was just the thing!

Couscous - I would happily sit down to a bowl of it.

Laura - Nigella would be disappointed!

grace said...

bravo, my friend! not only is the salad GORGEOUS (those arils are magical, aren't they!), but it sounds like the perfect thing to eat in combination with duck.


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