Black olive, pomegranate and walnut salad

I’m always on the hunt for simple lunch recipes. Here in Italy, lunch is still a drawn out affair with several courses that have been cooked throughout the morning. While it’s nice to sit down for a plate of pasta loving prepared half-way through the day, I don’t always have the time and usually make do with leftovers from the night before.

But the other day, a friend gave me three pomegranates from her garden. I love pomegranates. Since they are so difficult to find in Australia, they’ve always have a sort of forbidden fruit quality about them. Usually I just eat the ruby seeds like chips when I’m looking for an afternoon snack, but today, I wanted to transform them into a delicious lunch dish that was quick to prepare and beats the simple sandwich.

This dish is vegetarian and packed with vitamins. Walnuts are full of omega-3 fats and antioxidants, pistachios have plenty of fiber and are good for your heart, while pomegranates combat plaque in your blood vessels and help with cholesterol. And don’t even get me started on the olives. They’re my own homegrown, hand-picked and hand-cured olives! I’m overly excited about them and you can use shop bought ones, naturally!


We ate this salad with some leftover pumpkin soup, but you can make it more substantial by tossing through some cooked couscous, quinoa or burghal. You could ever serve it as a side with a Moroccan tajine or lamb roast for something different.

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You’ll need:
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup black olives
handful of pistachios
seeds from 1/2 pomegranate
1 small shallot
fresh chilli, however much you like
handful of parsley

To make the dressing:
walnut oil
olive oil
pomegranate molasses
lemon juice

Toast the nuts in a dry frying pan over high heat. Watch them constantly because they can go from pale to burnt in a blink of an eye. Chop into small chunks and set aside.

Finely dice the remaining ingredients and toss in a serving bowl with the pomegranate seeds. The lovely Nigella Lawson had a trick for removing the seeds from the pomegranate. She holds the fruit cut side down in the palm of her hand and taps the back with a wooden spoon to release the seeds. It’s what I do too and it always works!

Toss with the dressing ingredients to taste, season with salt and pepper and leave for 5 minutes to let the flavours infuse.

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And your delicious dish is finished!

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