Today I felt like breaking some rules. I’ve been a good girl for way too long. Nothing wrong with being a good girl of course. But from time to time I need to let my hair down and just do things for the mere fun of it and not because they are practical or responsible. So yep, break me some rules I did!
If you had a picture of an Ayurvedic saint in your mind when thinking of me, hold on to your pony cause I’m about to shatter your cherished day dream. Hard working, dedicated and passionate. Creative, loving and adventurous. Even brave, flexible and generous. I certainly claim to possess most of these qualities a great deal of the time. But saintly? Or even nice? Hell no!
And so today I made a salad that would have serious Charaka (famous body of work on Ayurvedic knowledge) scholars give me the evil eye so bad they would be left crossed eyed from the effort. Sorry, guys! I just had to do it. Just for today…
And see, the thing was for once I actually wás trying to be practical as well as economical. I have been testing recipes for an upcoming event and had so many leftovers of different experiments which I didn’t want to throw away. So I combined them and turned them into this hedonistic lustful object of my desire. Because, trust me, “bad” as it may be, it tastes so good.
I’ve mentioned it before. In Ayurveda you would not normally mix uncooked fruit with any other foods. I did that, and did not even stop there. To add insult to injury I combined watermelon with other food. Watermelon! Yep. See of all fruits watermelons are advised to eat, not only seperately from other foods, but even seperately from other fruits. Ai ja jai, I’m in big trouble here. Than on top of that I added pomegranate seeds. Good thing I don’t believe in hell…
But seriously folks, if you know yourself to have a weak digestive system don’t even get into a radius of 2 meters of this dish. Also if you know that combining fruit with other foods does not sit well with you, let this little master piece pass you by. But if like me you behave 80% of the time, have a strong digestive system (because you behave yourself so often!) and don’t mind being “bad” every once in a while do dig in. It is sinfully good. I promise.
In my own defense I have to say that, despite my defiance, I still managed to produce a plate that has all 6 tastes represented. The sweet watermelon, the sour vinegars and sumac, the salty feta cheese, the bitter tarragon, the astringent pomegranate and the spicy black pepper. As Pitta tend to have the strongest digestive system of all types this salad will probably be best for them on a warm late summer day.
Watermelon, feta and black quinoa salad (for 4 very naughty people as lunch)
- 200 grams black quinoa
- 500 ml water
- 40 grams toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- 100 grams deseeded and peeled cucumber, cubed
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon (or dill)
- drizzle of hazelnut oil
- drizzle of truffle or tarragon vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sumac
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate vinegar
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
- 1 or 2 teaspoons honey or maple syrup
- 75 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 400 grams cherry and/or mini pomodori tomatoes cut in half
- 300 grams deseeded watermelon cubed or sliced
- 150 gram feta cubed, sliced or crumbled
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
First put on the black quinoa with the water and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and put a lid on top. Cook for about 15 minutes until quinoa is just done. Set aside to cool. When cool mix in the hazelnuts, cucumber, the tarragon, hazelnut oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl mix the sumac, pomegranate vinegar and molasses, honey or maple syrup with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange the cut tomatoes and watermelon cubes on a plate. Drizzle with the sumac dressing and pomegranate seeds. Add the feta and black quinoa salad to the plate. Now gather your fellow sinners around the table and delight in your guilty pleasure…..