brilliantly-colored brain food ::::
Lately, I just can’t remember much. Chalk it up to sleep-deprivation, trying to keep track of too many schedules, a pukey toddler Grub (and first ear infection ever! And a fractured tibia! In two days!!), and winter sluggishness. The chill has swept in over Northern Cali these days, the skies speckled gray, my days beginning before it light outside, and ending in the dark. I feel as if I am living in a cave, grunting occasionally to gather food, huddling near the fire to stay warm. All in all, I am just tired. And doing waaaay too much laundry.
A bright green salad can usually snap me out of the winter doledrums, quickly transporting me to summery gardens aplenty. Zucchini is undoubtedly one of the most plentiful vegetables in many people’s gardens, so much so that it gets a bad rap. It’s annoying. It’s overcrowding the peas. It’s the bully. Bully it right back. Wrestle it to the ground, muay thai those greenies in this salad, after you scald them in boiling water first. That’ll teach ’em!
The parboil gives a tender crunch to the zucchini and leaves it shining a brilliant green. The brilliant greens and…wait. What about the pomegranate mentioned in the post title? No glittering red in the photos? Where are the pomegranate arils, you ask?
So immersed was I in the salad, that the freshly harvested arils sat on the counter. When I finally remembered, the salad was almost gone. As much as I enjoyed the salad without the arils, the pomegranate made it even better. Trust me — the pomegranate arils pair well with the sweet zucchini and the bite of the balsamic vinegar. Though the salad is great without them (who doesn’t love feta and mint together?), the pomegranate arils really make the salad memorable. I’m off to dream of muay thai zucchini, mint dancing in the foreground and the pops of pomegranate nestled into craggy feta.
- 2 lbs of zucchini, cut into 1 inch chunks and halved
- ¾ cup feta cheese
- 1 bunch of fresh mint, chopped
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Black pepper, freshly ground
- a handful of pomegranate arils (optional)
- Cook the zucchini in boiling salted water until just tender, about 3 minutes; it's better to undercook than overcook it. You want a soft crunch, not mushiness.
- Drain in a colander and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Let the zucchini cool a little, then transfer it to a shallow serving dish.
- Crumble the feta over the top, sprinkle with the mint, and drizzle with the olive oil and vinegar. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste. Sprinkle with pomegranate arils (not in my picture -- I didn't add them until I had demolished the salad and it was unphotographable.)
- Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.