Monday, January 15, 2007

Middle Eastern duck salad

I wrote yesterday that I used one roast duck as the basis for two recipes (I am still mentally patting myself on the back for thriftiness and for avoiding leftovers to clutter up our already space-challenged freezer). I should, however, have remembered that although the duck was the alleged star of this salad, its place was somewhat usurped by a pomegranate. I know pomegranates are uber-trendy, thanks at least partially to Nigella's championing of them; I know that I am probably the last person to jump onto the pomegranate wagon. I don't know why I haven't bought pomegranates before, because the seeds are like little jewels, and I can't resist beautiful food. All I can say is that I brought 2 pomegranates home, one of which was going towards this salad; the other I bought because it worked out cheaper to buy two, and because I had a sense that pomegranates were going to become my new craze. Anything bright and shiny - with the bonus of unquestioned status as a superfood - is always likely to hold my attention (I am irresistibly drawn to shiny red patent leather shoes, although I would never buy any). I cut the pomegranate in half and smacked it with a wooden spoon cut-side down; the seeds mainly tumbled as they were supposed to into the bowl I'd placed beneath, but some of the juices squirted sideways and one jet sprayed my pale blue cardigan. That will teach me not to wear an apron. Nigella has a pomegranate recipe called 'massacre in a snowstorm' - I can see where that name came from. Leanne Kitchen helpfully tells us that pomegranate juice is so indelible that it is still used as a dye in the manufacture of Persian carpets. Perfect. Anyway, to move onto the next step of the recipe, I processed 1/3 of the pomegranate seeds with the juice of two tangerine halves and the insides of some preserved lemons, sieved this and added olive oil to make a dressing. I then mixed parsley and mint leaves with toasted flaked almonds, chopped pistachios, sour dried cherries, the skins of the preserved lemons alluded to above, the remaining pomegranate seeds and the lamb's lettuce and tossed in the dressing, adding the duck meat (shredded from the bone).

This was one of those meals that looks colourful and tastes equally vibrant; the nuts, greens and dried fruit, plus the superfood pomegranate, make it FEEL healthy, but it is incredibly tasty, like the most deliciously sinful treat. Jamie suggests it for a lazy summer lunch, but here I refuse to accept that I am being unseasonal because pomegranates are in season now. Mmm. I loved this salad; it had real zing and energy, and it gave me a bit too, which is miraculous in mid January.

One nitpicking point. Jamie says in the preamble that this is a salad with rocket. There's no rocket in the ingredients though - he suggests lamb's lettuce. Not that it matters, but I just wanted to point it out. In so doing, of course, I have revealed my secret anal side, reflected in my obsessively neat little handwriting and my precision in maths and planning - but belied by the part of me that likes to lie around reading novels and won't read the instruction manual on my new mobile phone, even though that means I don't know what all the functions are.


Writing At The Kitchen Table said...

Nice use of leftovers! The salad does look yummy AND virtuous although I find Pomegranate to be a little overrated myself...having said that, I do like a bottle of Pom sometimes!
Freya x

litlove said...

One question, dear K, did you make your own preserved lemons or did you buy them? There's a Moroccan chicken dish I'd like to make with preserved lemons and olives but I've never been able to through lack of supplies!

(This looks extraordinary by the way -absolutely gorgeous.)

Ilana said...

Haha, you're funny. Your handwriting is actually perfect, I was thinking that the other day; but in a cute, non-anal way. :)

That salad looks delish!! Good use of leftovers!


Kathryn said...

Freya - thank you! Pomegranate is nice, I think - but really it is the colour that I am attracted to (superficial or what?!).

Litlove, I bought them. I did, once, make them and they went wrong (I don't think my jar was sufficiently sealed). You can find them in Tesco - in my Tesco they are in with the exotic or gluten-free type ingredients. They are very very nice!

Ilana, I don't aim to be funny, but since I can't quite carry off sophisticated, I will settle for funny...

Kathryn x

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