Yotam Ottolenghi creates recipes exactly how I want to eat them – fresh, unique, layered and slightly outrageous.
He has been at the periphery of my awareness for a bit – I follow the London food scene since living there and I admire the hell out of what Ottolenghi is doing there. I can’t wait to eat there! Until then, I will order his books from my Amazon wishlist and keep making his recipes. He inspires by example and by his brilliant combinations.
The recipe for Quinoa, Fennel and Pomegranate Salad was featured in Bon Appetit January 2012 and I served it last night for a small gathering – the Fire Goddess (aka Karen Pfeffer) and the Healthy Goddess. There were NO leftovers. Not a drop. And we all wanted them which is always a positive sign.
The Quinoa, Fennel and Pomegranate Salad is the perfect dish for a dinner party or just dinner at home. It is a no fuss presentation, especially if you prep the quinoa ahead of time and peel and segment the lemon. The only change that I made was with the serrano chiles – I used a dab of garlic chili sauce brushed very lightly on the fennel as it was in the pan and added exactly when the serrano chiles would have been added.
The fennel was tender and crunchy – the pomegranates brought the perfect sweet explosion to wake up with fennel and mint and cilantro … truly, I cannot wait to make this dish again and create some Hungry Goddess recipes around preparing the fennel in this method. Ottolenghi was certainly channeling the Quinoa Goddess – the lemony quinoa provided texture and some weight to the dish and was a great complement to all of the other ingredients.
Enjoy, Darlings – I could rave on for hours but I want you to MAKE THIS! Look for this recipe on Fennel Friday as well!
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium fennel bulbs (2½ pounds), cut lengthwise into ¼”-thick slices
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1 lemon
- 1 serrano chile, seeded, chopped
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- ½ cup chopped fresh mint
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
- ¼ cup pomegranate seeds (from ½ small pomegranate) – we probably used a bit more because we love them!
- Heat ¼ cup oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add fennel; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fennel is just tender and lightly golden, 10–12 minutes.
- Stir in lemon juice, cumin, and sugar; cook for 1 minute. S
- eason with salt and pepper.
- Set aside.
- (Note from THG – I prepare the quinoa ahead of time and just go from there – much easier) Meanwhile, bring quinoa and 3 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until quinoa is cooked, about 10 minutes. Drain; return to pan. Cover; let sit for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork; transfer to a large bowl.
- Using a small sharp knife, cut all peel and white pith from lemon. Cut between membranes to release segments; discard membranes and roughly chop.
- Add lemon with any juices and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil to quinoa; stir.
- Add fennel mixture, chile, and herbs.
- Toss gently to incorporate.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer salad to a platter; sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.