Can we take a moment? Just a brief one, so we can properly rejoice in the return of the iceberg lettuce? It never left some tables (or some peoples tacos) but when the mixed bag and then kale came riding into town she got pushed aside. So I gladly welcome her return to menus this country over.
Why she ever left I don't know – there are very few foods in the world that taste like a crisp glass of water (honestly how good is that), and none so willing to be the vessel that allows other adornments to shine. I was playing around with what I had in the fridge and came up with what I like to think isChristmas/Summer/Good times in a salad.
And she is so damn pretty to look at and a joy to eat with all her punchy complexity. The tomatoes and pomegranates work amazingly well together – a curious combo of sweet and sweet while the smoked salt adds a bit of intrigue; the black garlic is reminiscent of caramel, molasses and good times.
Head of iceberg, washed thoroughly, outer leaves discarded and cut into 4 wedges
250g punnet of mini roma tomatoes, finely chopped
1 pomegranate, hulled, seeds and juice reserved
½ small red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of black garlic, finely sliced
A few mint leaves
2 tsp pomegranate molasses
Smoked salt to taste
¼ cup coriander leaves
¼ cup mint leaves
¼ cup pistachios
4 tbsp grapeseed oil
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
½ tsp finely grated lemon zest
½ cup natural yoghurt
1 tbsp tahini paste
Nigella seeds and mint leaves to serve
Combine the tomato, pomegranate seeds and juice, red onion, black garlic and pomegranate molasses in a bowl and set aside. After about twenty minutes, season with smoked salt to taste.
Add the ingredients for the herb dressing to a blender and blitz until a rough pesto like consistency is achieved. I like it still quite rough and chunky so be careful not to over blend.
Combine the tahini yoghurt ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
To serve, arrange the wedges on a large serving plate and spoon the pomegranate salad over the top. Drizzle a little of the herb dressing and add a dollop of the tahini yoghurt. Scatter with nigella seeds and extra mint leaves just before serving.