It has been a few weeks since I have posted but I have a good excuse! I was volunteering in Uganda with a short stopover to Istanbul. Istanbul was simply a feast for the senses….a cultural crossroads with food to match. This city where Europe meets Asia left me thirsting for more. It was a whirlwind 24 hours through some of the world’s most amazing monuments – Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque and some of the most fascinating bazaars – the Grand Bazaar, the Spice Market. From the gentle smile of the Turks to the smoky ritural of the water pipe, I fell in love with this magical place. We had lunch at a wonderful restaurant in the Sultanahmet district. Sitting at a table outside on a leafy side street just off the main bustle, the food and service at Khorasani Restaurant was superb. Our attentive, friendly waiter, Suat, offered wonderful suggestions and the minute I tasted their version of the traditional Turkish Shepherd’s Salad, knew it had to be posted. The key to this salad is chopping everything to a fine dice. Don’t be afraid of the pomegranate syrup – it is simply pomegranate juice boiled down to syrup consistency. Simple. The syrup adds a nice hint of sweetness to the dish. Enjoy!!
Summery Shepherd’s Salad with Pomegranate Syrup
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1 small sweet onion, finely diced
2 large cloves of garlic, finely diced
6 large plum tomatoes, finely diced
1/3 cup fresh parsley, finely diced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1. Make the pomegranate syrup: Boil the pomegranate juice in a small saucepan over medium heat until boiling. Turn to low and simmer until reduced by about half – roughly 1/4 cup should remain. This should take about 5-10 minutes. Allow to cool.
2. Mix garlic, onion and tomato together in a bowl large enough to hold the salad. Stir in the parsley.
3. Add 3 tablespoons olive oil, juice of 1/2 lemon, pomegranate sryup, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
4. Mound salad in center of serving bowl. Sprinkle with finely chopped walnuts. Garnish with a parsley sprig and serve! Bon appetit!