Saturday, September 10, 2011

Spinach Salad with Walnuts (Salatet bil s'banegh joz)

First and foremost, isn't this salad beautiful?  I'm not sure that this picture does it justice but trust me, the colors are gorgeous in person.  The ruby red pomegranate seeds, white yogurt, and green mint just look so wonderful together.  And they actually taste pretty good together too.  But as pretty as the salad was, we both agreed that it needed something.  In certain bites where you had the proper balance of all of the ingredients it was quite good.  Then you would have another bite that would be somewhat bland and boring.  I guess that is what happens when you have a salad with this many ingredients.  It's pretty hard to make sure that each bite is perfectly balanced.  But even in the ideal bites you could still sense that the salad was just missing something.  Something with a little more bite or perhaps a little more sweetness.  Alex wanted the pomegranate seeds to be sweeter.  I thought the pomegranate seeds were sweet enough, but there was just something else it all needed to come together.  I just don't know what.

Recipe after the jump!

Spinach and Walnut Salad (Salatet bil s'banegh joz)
Street Food: Exploring the World's Most Authentic Tastes
By Tom Kime

2 tbsp evoo
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 lb spinach, rinsed, stems discarded and coarsely chopped (we cheated and used baby spinach)
1/4 cup walnut halves and pieces
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
20 fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
seeds of 1/2 pomegranate (we used a large handful of pomegranate seeds from the grocery)

Heat evoo in a heavy frying pan over medium-high heat, and cook the onion for 4-5 minutes until pale golden.  Add the spinach and stir for a couple of minutes to wilt.  Remove from the heat.  In a separate pan, dry-roast the walnuts over medium-high heat for a few minutes, then coarsely chop.  Crush the garlic with a little salt and add to the yogurt.

Season spinach with s&p.  Drain off any excess liquid and place on a serving dish.  Pour yogurt and garlic mixture over the top.  Scatter with walnuts and mint, and garnish with pomegranate seeds.


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