This weekend I road tripped up to Byron Bay for the Splendour in the Grass music festival. It was a weekend of fun, friends, sunshine and a lot of mud. The music was fantastic and it was hard to keep from smiling. The mix included all that is cool from pop, rock, hip-hop and indie. I got to see some of my favourite bands such as, The National, Mumford and Sons, MS MR and Boy & Bear, and they did not disappoint.
Because we were camping that meant we had to eat either the chips and lollies we’d stocked up on from the supermarket or what was on offer from the food stands, and after five days of festival food my body was craving something light and fresh. That is not to say the food at Splendour was bad, in fact the burgers, fries, tacos, gourmet hot dogs and pasta were all delicious but not exactly great for the figure.
Feeling bloated and heavy I decided to make my go-to salad. It’s got everyone’s favourite superfood quinoa, a nutty grain-like seed that absorbs other flavours superbly. But the real superstar here is the pomegranate. Opening up one of these beauties is like discovering a treasure chest full of gloriously rich-coloured jewels. The little ruby red beads burst in your mouth, punching with a simultaneously sweet and tangy flavour. Combine this with a sprinkling of dukkah, an Egyptian nut, seed and spice mix, and you have a flavour combination that really will delight the senses. I know that’s cheesy but sometimes there’s no way around it. Sorry.
The added crunch that comes from the fresh, crispy veggies adds a great textural element to the dish and the big, zesty flavours from the chilli and lemon vinaigrette don’t leave your taste buds lacking in the flavour department. A few more meals like this and hopefully my Splendour belly will subside a little.
Middle Eastern Pomegranate Quinoa Salad
Serves 6 as a main or 10 as a side
- 1 ½ cups cooked quinoa
- 1 bunch coriander chopped
- 1 bunch mint chopped
- 1 bunch parsley chopped
- 2 Lebanese cucumbers, quartered lengthways and diced
- 1 red capsicum diced
- 2 celery sticks finely sliced
- 6 sprigs shallot finely sliced
- Seeds of 2 pomegranates
- 3 tbs dukkah*
- 1 small red chili, deseeded and finely chopped
- Salt to season
- Juice of two lemons
- Equal amounts of olive oil
- Place all ingredients in a salad bowl and season generously with salt.
- Combine lemon juice and olive oil in a jar and shake until mixed together.
- Pour over the salad and toss through.
*Dukkah is an Egyptian spice mix that is available at most grocers and delicatessens.