Olive Salad with Pomegranate and Walnuts

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This Olive Salad with Pomegranate and Walnuts is a delightful Turkish-inspired dish that combines the savory richness of olives with the nutty crunch of walnuts and the sweet tang of pomegranate. Dressed in a flavorful mix of paprika paste, olive oil, pomegranate molasses, pul biber (Aleppo pepper), and thyme, it offers a refreshing burst of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern tastes. Perfect as a standalone light meal or a vibrant side dish.

Why This Salad Stands Out

At first glance, this salad might seem like an unlikely ensemble of ingredients. Yet, it’s this very diversity that makes it extraordinary. Each component brings its unique flavor and texture, contributing to the overall richness of the dish. The olives, with their briny depth, offer a savory contrast to the sweet, jewel-like pomegranate seeds. The walnuts add a satisfying crunch, while the dressing—a potent blend of paprika paste, olive oil, pomegranate molasses, pul biber, dried thyme, and salt—ensures that each bite is packed with flavor.

A Closer Look at the Ingredients

  • Paprika Paste and Olive Oil: These form the base of the dressing, infusing it with a warmth and richness that binds the salad components together.
  • Pomegranate Molasses: Its tangy sweetness adds a layer of complexity, enhancing the natural flavors of the other ingredients.
  • Pul Biber (Aleppo Pepper): This mild pepper introduces a subtle heat that tingles the palate without overpowering the salad’s delicate balance.
  • Dried Thyme and Salt: They round out the dressing, adding an aromatic depth that complements the freshness of the vegetables.
  • Onion and Bell Pepper: These vegetables are not mere fillers; they add crispness and a burst of fresh flavor, acting as the perfect canvas for the rich dressing.
  • Olives: The star of the show, olives bring a savory flavor that anchors the salad, providing a counterpoint to the sweet and nutty elements.
  • Walnuts: Their crunchy texture and nutty taste not only add an interesting bite but also a layer of complexity to the salad.
  • Parsley: This herb is more than a garnish; its freshness elevates the salad, tying all the flavors together.
  • Pomegranate Seeds: They not only add a beautiful visual appeal but also bursts of sweetness, enhancing the overall dining experience.

Step-by-Step Cooking Instructions:

Step 1: Prepare the Dressing

  • In a large mixing bowl, add the paprika paste, olive oil, pomegranate molasses, pul biber (Aleppo pepper), dried thyme, and salt.
  • Whisk these ingredients together until they’re well blended into a cohesive dressing.

Step 2: Massage the Vegetables

  • To the bowl with the dressing, add your thinly sliced onion and julienned bell pepper.
  • Use your hands to gently massage the vegetables, ensuring they are fully coated with the dressing. This not only flavors the vegetables but also softens them slightly, making them more palatable and enjoyable in the salad.

Step 3: Add Olives and Walnuts

  • Into the bowl, add the pitted olives and roughly chopped walnuts.
  • Toss gently to combine, ensuring the olives and walnuts are evenly coated with the dressing. This introduces different textures to the salad, from the crunchy walnuts to the soft, briny olives.

Step 4: Incorporate Fresh Parsley

  • Stir in the chopped fresh parsley to the salad mixture.
  • Mixing well to distribute the parsley evenly throughout the salad, adding a fresh, herby flavor that brightens the overall dish.

Step 5: Garnish and Serve

  • Transfer the salad to a serving dish.
  • Sprinkle the pomegranate seeds over the top of the salad. This not only adds a burst of color and sweetness but also makes the dish visually appealing.
  • The salad can be served immediately or allowed to marinate for an hour in the refrigerator. This helps deepen the flavors, as the ingredients meld together more cohesively.

Serving and Enjoyment

This salad is versatile, capable of standing alone as a light meal or serving as an accompaniment to a more substantial main course. Its bold flavors and textures make it a perfect choice for those looking to add a touch of excitement to their meal. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or simply looking for a delicious and healthy option for your lunch, this salad is sure to impress.

Olive Salad with Pomegranate and Walnuts thumbnail

Olive Salad with Pomegranate and Walnuts

This Olive Salad with Pomegranate and Walnuts is a delightful Turkish-inspired dish that combines the savory richness of olives with the nutty crunch of walnuts and the sweet tang of pomegranate. Dressed in a flavorful mix of paprika paste, olive oil, pomegranate molasses, pul biber (Aleppo pepper), and thyme, it offers a refreshing burst of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern tastes. Perfect as a standalone light meal or a vibrant side dish.
Servings 5
Prep Time 20 minutes
Marinating 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Equipment

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Whisk (for dressing)
  • Salad serving dish

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons paprika paste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 1 teaspoon pul biber Aleppo pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced
  • 1 bell pepper or red paprika pepper julienned
  • 1 cup olives mixed or your choice, pitted (about 150 grams)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts roughly chopped (about 50 grams)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • Seeds of 1 pomegranate for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the Dressing: In a large mixing bowl, combine the paprika paste, olive oil, pomegranate molasses, pul biber, dried thyme, and salt. Whisk until well blended.
  • Massage the Vegetables: Add the sliced onion and julienned bell pepper (or red paprika pepper) to the bowl with the dressing. Use your hands to gently massage the vegetables, ensuring they are fully coated with the dressing.
  • Combine with Olives and Walnuts: Add the olives (1 cup / 150 grams) and chopped walnuts (1/2 cup / 50 grams) to the bowl. Toss gently to ensure everything is evenly coated with the dressing and spices.
  • Add Fresh Parsley: Stir in the chopped parsley (1/4 cup), mixing well to distribute it throughout the salad.
  • Garnish and Serve: Transfer the salad to a serving dish. Sprinkle the pomegranate seeds over the top for a burst of color and sweetness.
  • Serving Suggestion: This salad can be served immediately or allowed to marinate for an hour in the refrigerator to deepen the flavors. It pairs wonderfully with crusty bread

Notes

The salad’s flavors deepen with time, making it a great make-ahead dish for gatherings.
Substitute pomegranate molasses with a mix of lemon juice and agave syrup if unavailable.
Adjust the heat by increasing or decreasing the amount of pul biber
Calories: 225kcal
Cost: $20
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Keyword: Healthy Olive Pomegranate Recipe, Mediterranean Olive Salad, Pomegranate Walnut Salad, Vegan Middle Eastern Salad

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