(Part two of a series detailing a pomegranate-themed meal; see part one here.)
And no, I don’t mean salad as dessert because it happens to occur after the main course; I mean salad as dessert because it is sweet and crunchy and chocolate-y.
There’s a bit of a kick to this – sumac and cucumber give a hint of fattoush – but a chocolate balsamic and a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds leave no doubt that this is no ordinary salad (one might say 3ajib wa gharib…).
Strange and Wondrous Salad for Dessert
You will need:
3 cucumbers, sliced into 1/4-inch medallions then halved
A head of lettuce, washed and torn into strips (tearing > cutting when it comes to leafy greens; you are less likely to cut against the grain of the leaf and it will stay crispier for longer)
Large handful of pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup lemon juice
Splash of orange flower water
Splash of red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sumac
1/2 tsp salt & dash of pepper
A small bar of good dark chocolate
1/8 to 1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
1/4 cup olive oil
First you’ll want to flash-pickle your cucumbers in lemon juice, vinegar, orange flower water, salt, pepper, and sumac in a bowl. Set them aside; it’s ideal if they have an hour or two to get acquainted, and if you give them a good shake every 20-30 minutes or so to make sure the liquid gets distributed evenly.
Shortly before you’re ready to serve, melt the chocolate in a double boiler (a small saucepan and a Pyrex liquid measuring cup work great) and stir in the balsamic.
Drain the cucumbers and reserve the vinegar-lemon juice mixture; toss them into the lettuce with a drizzle of olive oil and a drizzle of the reserved vinegar-lemon juice, add the pomegranates and mix it all up. Finally, drizzle with generous quantities of chocolate balsamic (pre- or post-plating, but post- makes for a cleaner presentation…)