Another close friend of mine is now thousands miles away to start a new life, probably suffering from jetlag with a little bit of alienation thanks to experiencing big changes in just a few weeks time. Getting married, leaving your job, moving overseas are some examples of a “big change” for most of the people and my poor friend is exposed all of these simultaneously. At some point we all want to get out of our lives and to start leading another life in another place (preferably in a less complex way than the one featured in LOST) but when this turns out to be true, we suddenly realize that it is not easy as it seems. However, I am pretty sure that my friend has what it takes to adapt to all these changes soon.
For my side, as if staying apart from a close friend was not enough, I also lost my hardly found lunch accompany to enjoy oven baked sea bass and arugula salad in a meatball lover community I was surrounded. I guess two of us could eat this combination tirelessly during the whole week. Now all waiters in the place know the order by heart; two oven baked sea basses and two arugula salad, one with no sauce and no olive oil. This menu reminds me of lots of laughs, funny moments, office rumors and sometimes our consolidated angers against something we won’t remember the other day.
I do not know whether it was due to joy of having such a cozy intermission or due to pomegranate sauce they use in the kitchen, this salad has always made my day. Pomegranate sauce is simply a combination of concentrated pomegranate juice and glucose syrup but it tastes so good on any fresh green leaf that it turns out to be a perfect substitute for other salad sauces or vinaigrettes.
In the last few years, pomegranate became so popular in Turkish food scene like Louis Vuitton handbags on everyone’s shoulder around. It is almost impossible to imagine a generous breakfast table without freshly squeezed pomegranate juice or any upscale bar that does not offer special shots or cocktails featuring pomegranate. Last time I was almost getting choked due to pomegranate arils they put in my cocktail. Aside from being a lethal weapon in my case, this ancient fruit is like a healing pill for lots of health problems. It has been widely used in ancient Ayurveda system of medicine to cure many illnesses. With its high antioxidant content it helps treating dysentery, balancing blood pressure, reducing heart disease risk, inhibiting viral infections and so on. Even there are some researches indicating that pomegranate extract diminishes the number of prostate and breast cancer cells in a test tube. Pomegranate also appears in Egyptian mythology and art since they used to take advantage of its thirst-quenching juice in the desert. In short, it is something good to consume.
You may enjoy this extra healthy salad with breadsticks in the previous post if you would like to have a light meal today. As for me, it means more than that. Anytime I prepare this salad, I will recall our friendly chats around that table putting an instant smile on my face.
Ingredients (makes 2 servings)
- 2 handfuls of washed, drained and roughly chopped arugula leaves
- 100 g (3.5 oz.) feta cheese, cubed
- 2 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons pomegranate sauce (you may use Grenadine as a replacement but I recommend adding some lemon juice according to your taste, otherwise it might be too sweet)
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate arils
- 8-10 cherry tomatoes, sliced
- A pinch of sea salt
|1.||Put roughly chopped arugula leaves in a salad bowl (it is better to use a salad spinner first to make sure that no water remains on the leaves)|
|2.||Add olive oil, pomegranate sauce and salt (if your cheese is too salty you may skip salt addition); stir leaves by your hand so that they are well covered with liquids.|
|3.||Combine cheese, tomatoes, pomegranate arils and serve.|