Note: You may know Carolyn Cope as Umami Girl. She stops by on Tuesdays with ideas on preparing fruits and vegetables.
For those of us who love food, the days between Thanksgiving and New Years can be an embarrassment of riches. I suspect most of us wouldn't have it any other way. Only extreme duress could cause me, for one, to choose celery sticks over mini chorizo empanadas or fig and Gorgonzola tarts at your average holiday party buffet. Still, there is a lot to be said for fitting into one's pants and feeling fit to face the new year. So during these weeks more than ever, I also take great pleasure in food for its restorative properties.
In our holiday season downtime, I tend to prepare simple, nourishing meals for our family. They're the home cook's version of spa cuisine, full of flavor and nutrients but without the weight of excess ingredients or procedure. In the next few weeks I'll be sharing some of these recipes with you here.
Since frugality also comes in handy for many of us during holiday downtime (and since I seem consistently to be in Deranged Martha Stewart mode this season), I found many of the ingredients for this week's recipe in my Thanksgiving table centerpieces. Sorry, was that out loud?
Pomegranate pairs beautifully with turkey on the palate as well as on the table. If you've never seeded one, don't be intimidated by the prospect (or by the fact that it shares its French name with a grenade). It's actually quite easy. Just cut a thin slice off the stem end and remove a thumb's-width bit of the white pith from the center with the tip of a knife or a spoon. Lightly score the skin into quarters from top to bottom. Then place a thumb in the hollowed-out center and gently pry the pomegranate into four pieces. Gently remove the seeds from the white pith. Discard the pith and eat the seeds.
Turkey Salad with Pomegranate and Pistachios
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 shallot or a bit of red onion, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 cups baby arugula or other bitter salad greens, washed and dried
- 3 cups cooked, shredded turkey meat (or chicken)
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
- 2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, red onion and salt and pepper. Place the arugula or greens in a medium bowl. Spoon one or two Tablespoons of the dressing over the greens and toss to coat lightly. Divide the greens among four plates.
Combine the turkey, pomegranate seeds, celery, pistachios and parsley in the same bowl used for the greens. Pour in the remaining dressing along with an extra sprinkle of salt and pepper and toss to coat. Place some of the turkey salad over the greens on each plate and serve.