July 10, 2010

Memories of the Norwegian Summer: Mixed Salad with Pomegranate Dressing

In summers I always long for Norway. I strongly believe that unless you have experienced harsh long dark winters of Tromsø and rainy dull ones of Bergen you can't really appreciate the long sunny warm days that are so few in the year. There was nothing better on those days than to put on the sunglasses, a bright cotton summer dress and Greek sandals and mingle with the care-free folk promenading along the harbor, drinking champagne on the small yachts parked right here and toasting with wine and beer in the street cafes to the sounds of the live country music played by a street band.

Mixed Salad with Pomegranate Dressing
Yet my Norwegian summers were also an exam time and remember very clearly the year when I was doing my first batch of exams for my masters there and writing my thesis for the degree I was completing back home. In the morning I'd pack up my books and lunch, put on bikini and a short skirt and march down to the school building which was conveniently overlooking a fjord (effectively, a part of the sea locked in by the surrounding mountains, a very typical element of the Norwegian landscape). I would find a quiet bench on the slope going down to the fjord, stretch my legs and open my books to study. The routine was great in all the regards: plenty of fresh air was good for my skin, solicitude ensured focused  studies, meditative ambience released any pre-exam stress and early morning (or late afternoon) sun was perfect to get nicely tanned. It was also the time when I honed my salad-making skills: it felt like eating very light so I went wild with mixing and matching all sorts of ingredients that could make a salad.  It was a special kind of pleasure after a few hours of studying to open my salad box and slowly indulge the crunchy mix to the chirr of the grasshoppers and whistles of the departing ferries from far way down. 

I did really well on the exams what semester and  soon got back to the thesis defence madness  in Russia. I saw my classmates who looked as if they all have spent their time in a  dark and humid cellar and came out exhausted and pale with dark eye-shadows.  They saw me - suspiciously tanned and smiling for no obvious reasons and they would not believe that I did any studies let alone serious exams back in Norway. One week later I defended my thesis with  distinction. I think it was the lightness of being which others found too unbearable and which I embraced full-heartedly: it lifted me as if I were a goose feather and carried me somewhere. I got to follow the flow and landed exactly where I needed to get.

Mixed Salad with Pomegranate Dressing Recipe 
Juicy summer salad where the common folk vegetables get a refined Oriental edge.

Ingredients (2 large servings)
For the salad:
12 leaves of green and red leaf lettuce (may go for any other salad types)
2 mid-sized tomatoes
4 tbsp carrot, grated
4 tbsp raisins
2 tbsp hazelnuts, halved

For the dressing:
2 tbsp pomegranate juice
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp honey
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp lemon skin, finely grated
4 tbsp parsley, coarsely chopped
fresh ground black pepper to taste
salt to taste

1. Make the dressing: mix well the ingredients in a small bowl by adding them one by one in the order they are listed and let the dressing cool for a bit in the fridge.

Mixed Salad with Pomegranate Dressing

2. Make the salad: In a salad bowl mix the ingredients and season the salad with the dressing, cover the bowl with a flat plate and as you tightly hold the plate vigorously shake the salad so it gets slightly marinaded. Serve at once as a dish on its own right or on a side to your meal.

Mixed Salad with Pomegranate Dressing

4 Responses to Memories of the Norwegian Summer: Mixed Salad with Pomegranate Dressing:

Vanamala Hebbar said...

very nice...suits for summer

Magic of Spice said...

Hi, just found you on foodbuzz...I love this fresh salad for summer:)

bed frame said...

Your Mixed Salad with Pomegranate Dressing is going to be perfect for summer. I eat green salad almost every day. I love salad because it is very healthy.

Olga Tikhonova said...

Thank you for the comments, everyone: I am so glad you've liked the recipe)

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