January’s Salad: Pear, Pomegranate & Parsnip

If you read my Simple Side Salads for Salad Virgins (link here: http://ecstaticallyem.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/three-new-years-side-salads-for-salad.html ), then you’ll have been expecting this post. Each month I’ll be bringing you a salad using seasonal ingredients, and items you can find at any time in your local supermarket. The idea is that I get to eat a lot of salad, and you get to learn that salad isn’t just for summer (although I cant wait for the summer produce to be honest, because it means strawberries…), can be made cheaply, and is much more than just a few shreds of iceberg and half a tomato.
So, January. The month everybody traditionally hates. The only reasons I dislike January are 1) I can’t get into the gym for all the newbies, 2) Everyone is on a “detox”, or “cleanse”, 3) It rains all the time, instead of snowing. But other than that, I don’t mind the month of January. It means root veg like parsnips, sweet potato and swede, then pomegranate seeds, oranges, kale, and pears in food terms- all of which are great, versatile ingredients. This week you get to see why I love fruit in savoury salads; its a lovely contrast to root veg as its light, refreshing, and sweet. Plus it goes unexpectedly well with black pepper…
Ingredients
  • 1 conference pear
  • 1 large handful of kale
  • 1-2tbsp pomegranate seeds
  • 1 medium parsnip, chopped into chunks (leave the peel on; most of the vitamins and minerals actually accumulate under the peel of fruit and veg, and so are lost when the skin is removed)
  • 1/2 sachet of easy cook lentils (I bought these at Asda; think like microwave rice, but lentils. It makes this salad super quick and easy), or 1/4 cup dried lentils, prepared according to packet instructions
  • Salt & black pepper, to taste
  • Lime juice, to taste
Add Ons…
  • 1 chicken breast, wrapped in foil and baked on 200*c for 30-40 minutes
  • 2 Quorn or regular sausages, grilled according to instructions
  • 100g chickpeas
  • 1/4-1/2 avocado (this goes especially well with the chickpeas)
Method
  • Wilt the kale in the microwave for approximately one minute, until softened slightly.
  • Microwave the lentils (if using the sachet) for 1-2 minutes, until hot. Whilst they’re warming through chop the pear, before tossing together the kale, lentils, pomegranate seeds, and pear chunks.
  • Place the parsnip chunks into a bowl and add a 3tbsp freshly boiled water. Cover with a plate and microwave for 2 minutes, or until the parsnips have steamed enough to be soft yet slightly firm, and release a sweet smell.
  • Toss the parsnips with the other ingredients, adding the lime juice, salt, and black pepper to taste. You can also add a little maple syrup to the parsnips for extra flavour before doing this.
  • Top with your preferred add-on to make it more of a meal, and enjoy!
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