UPDATED! PERSIAN HERB SALAD (V+, R, P, NF, GF, GrF)

NOTE: The pictures were updated in July 2015

This month, exactly 14 years ago I moved to the UK. YIKES, how time flies! Will I stay in London forever? Gosh, that’s a tough question. Actually, that’s a very tough question. Thing is, I’ve got a little bit of a love/hate relationship with this place. You see when the days are dark, gloomy and grey and it feels like I’m living on Noah’s Ark because the rain just keeps on falling, then I absolutely hate it! 

And then, slowly but surely the clouds clear away and Spring arrives in all her glory. With her appearance the short dark days make way for longer and lighter ones. And as if by magic, suddenly and gracefully London comes into her own. London’s countless open spaces turn a lush and beautiful green and it’s then you know that London’s reputation as the greenest city in European is well and truly deserved.

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When London makes the seamless transition into summer and her inhabitant - who have been hibernating for months – come out to play, it’s impossible not to have fun in this historical city. And it is during these warm summer days that London’s diversity and vibrancy really shines through with countless food and cultural festivals galore.

It’s curtesy to London’s diversity and vibrancy that I bring you this recipe today. Sally Butcher who runs the acclaimed Persian food store Persepolis in a multicultural area of London called Peckham, provided the inspiration for today’s post. She is quite well known in these corners of the world and has written lots of Middle Eastern inspired cookery books, including a vegetarian one, the stunning Veggiestan; this week’s recipe is taken from there.

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The book is beautiful with mouth-watering recipes and gorgeous pictures and a velvet cover to die for. I felt so lucky to have found it in a local bookstore! Plus, the lady selling me the book told me that Veggiestan is the book that most often gets stolen. Hmmm, London – it’s a love/hate relationship indeed...

IMPORTANT: Please always check the end of recipe for substitutions and tips

Preparation Time: 20-30 minutes (chopping takes a little while)

Serves: 4

Ingredients:
1 luscious, large pomegranate
1 (organic) cucumber
2-3 (organic) tomatoes
1 green pepper
120g (organic) spring onions
30g fresh (organic) mint
30g fresh (organic) coriander
Pinch of Salt (I used Himalaya Sea Salt)
Drizzle of (organic olive oil
Juice of 1 Lime

Optional:
A handful of cooked farro
A handful of sliced radishes

Instructions:
Cut the pomegranate in half and remove the little red fruits. Mix them into a bowl with the washed and chopped cucumber, tomatoes, green pepper, spring onion, mint and coriander.
Drizzle some olive oil over the salad and add a pinch of salt. Mix everything together. Add the juice of 1 lime just before serving. SO good!
Add the optional ingredients now if using.

Tip 1: This is great to take as lunch to the office the next day, just be sure not to put lime juice on it until the day you eat it (i.e. take ¼ of a lime with you to the office and drizzle over the salad whilst you are there)

Tip 2: You can replace the mint with fresh parsley.

Tip 3: Don’t have pomegranates? Replace with red currants, blueberries or finely chopped strawberries. Whatever is seasonal, fruity and yummy!

Tip 4: This serves 4 as a main or 6 as a meze side dish.

Eat with… sourdough bread or flatbread, dips, olives and fruit for dessert. 

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