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My dearest readers,

It’s still summer (the sky is still blue and relatively cloudless) and for me, the summer is a time of barbecues and salads. One of my uni friends, who is also one of my homegroup leaders, remarked to me early on this year ‘I just love making salads; you can put so many different things in them, they’re so versatile, bants.’ (Perhaps that last word helped some of you figure out who I’m on about, if you didn’t know already…also I definitely paraphrased that). But he definitely has a point: salads are wonderful inventions and they work well as a side or, if you put a bit of effort in, as the main event. I used to think salads were just your standard leaves, tomatoes, cucumber and dressing…but they are so much more than that. They are also surprisingly filling, which I tend to forget when it gets to dinner time and I’m ravenous and just want loads of carbs to fill me up.

So when we had a barbecue as a homegroup social, I volunteered to bring a salad. Knowing my friend’s love for beautiful salads I decided to actually make an effort and create something new that I could be pretty certain nobody had tried before. I started with just one ingredient I knew I wanted in my new exciting salad – pomegranate seeds – and Googled it…and found this recipe which I quickly adapted (according to my student budget/what I already had in the cupboards), lovingly made and took to my homegroup who absolutely LOVED it. Major success right there (:

I made this again tonight for my stepdad, who adores salads but is very wary of fruit in salads – ‘they just don’t belong there’ – and again it proved to be a hit, landing firmly on the ‘we will definitely be making this again without a doubt’ list. If you’re fed up of boring salads this is definitely one for you!

Feta and Pomegranate Salad (serves 2 as a main meal, 4-5 as a side dish)

Ingredients:
300g feta cheese, sliced into cubes
Lemon juice (I used half a lemon)
2 garlic cloves, crushed (I didn’t use garlic)
4 small handfuls of mixed rocket, spinach and watercress (because this was a main meal I used a 120g bag)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Salt and pepper
2 pomegranates, seeds only (I used half a pomegranate and that was more than enough; but base it on your preferences)
I also used:
2 tomatoes, chopped
Chopped cucumber
2 spring onions, chopped

Step 1: Place the feta on a plate. Squeeze the lemon juice over the feta and scatter over the garlic, if using. Leave to marinate for 3 hours.

Image

I only left it to marinate for around 10 minutes, while I prepared the rest of the salad…I’ve never left it three hours but I imagine the lemon juice soaks into the feta more giving it a lovely tangy taste. Maybe one day!

Step 2: Put the leaves in your salad bowl. Add chopped tomatoes, spring onions, cucumber or anything else you want to add (some people like onions in salad etc)

IMG_1374My salad leaves in the bowl. Teeheeheehee…

IMG_1380My salad leaves ACTUALLY in the bowl.

IMG_1391Adding the spring onions! Om nom nom!

Step 3: Put the pomegranate seeds in.
NOTE ON CUTTING POMEGRANATE: This is how I always get the seeds out of a pomegranate. There are probably many different ways, some of which are bound to be easier, but this method works for me and so I go with it. Part of experimenting in the kitchen is learning to prepare food you didn’t know how to prepare before…it’s all part of the fun! (:

IMG_1381You can’t tell from this picture but I have bashed the pomegranate on the counter a lot. Bash it from every angle you can think of. This loosens the seeds so they come out a lot easier. Best to do this now before you cut it – you can do it after too but it’s a lot messier!

IMG_1382Chop your pomegranate in half.

IMG_1383Squeeze and the seeds should come out quite easily – you can also dig them out using your fingers, as the bashing has softened the shell. It’s really hard to explain this so if in doubt, YouTube it!!

Step 4: Pour the olive oil and sesame oil over the salad, add salt and pepper to your liking and toss until the salad is evenly covered.

IMG_1392I love sesame oil. It works so well in so many things! The combination of these two in a salad dressing is heavenly.

IMG_1394I do love action shots.

Step 5: Sprinkle the feta over the top of the salad. Serve and enjoy!

IMG_1396IMG_1398Hard to believe this was taken with a phone camera…totally proud.

IMG_1399I’m becoming a proper foodie now, taking pictures of food on a fork!!

I dare you to try this. It’s so simple and so quick to make yet it tastes so heavenly – definite 5/5 on my scale of yumminess!

Sending you lots of love on this breezy summer’s day (although it’s night time now!)

(:

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