Monday, 11 January 2010

Fennel and Feta with Pomegranate Seeds and Sumac

This salad is to quote Ottolenghi, a festival in itself. Make it to celebrate life's variety of culinary flavors or when these seasonal ingredients burst into the spotlight. Fennel and tarragon provide a licorice crunch to the colorful sweetness of pomegranate seeds, fruity sumac and salty feta, which manifest themselves extraordinarily fresh in this salad. The fennel for this recipe should be round and bulky, as they are are crisper and sweeter than the long variety.

Adapted from the Ottolenghi cookbook:

1/2 pomegranate
2 medium fennel heads
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons sumac, plus extra for garnish
juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons of honey
salt and black pepper
4 tablespoons tarragon leaves
2 tablespoons roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
60g rocket leaves
70g Greek feta cheese, sliced

Release the pomegranate seeds, as instructed in this recipe.
Remove the leaves of the fennel, keeping a few to garnish later, and trim the base, making sure you leave enough of it still attached to hold the slices together. Slice very thinly lengthwise (use a mandolin if you have one).
In a bowl, mix the olive oil, sumac, honey, lemon juice and parsley and some salt and pepper. Add the fennel, tarragon leaves and rocket and toss. Taste of seasoning, but remember that the feta will add saltiness.
Sprinkle pomegranate seeds and feta, then garnish with fennel leaves and sumac.

Serves 4.

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