Persian Blueberry Anar Salad with Cucumber
By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime
My recipe of the day is for a Persian blueberry anar salad with cucumber and goat cheese, which I am posting as a part of Blueberry Week with other bloggers I know.
The Persian Influence
This recipe is fashioned after some Persian salads I have eaten. They are fond of cucumber as well as herbs. Most often the dressing is a vinaigrette made with lemon juice. For this salad, I have used a combination of blueberry vinegar and lime juice to bring out the flavors I want.
What’s Anar, Precious?
You might wonder what the heck anar is. It is very simply the Farsi word for pomegranate- and the arils are the seeds you get out of that. I understand a great many pomegranate are grown in Iran. You see it used prolifically in recipes such as fesenjan, which is chicken or duck with pomegranate, and also in sharbat, a refreshing drinkade- made with pomegranate juice.
Uses of Pom
A friend of mine from college who was from Iran was graduating and was showing me his sofa he and his wife wanted to sell (I was shopping for one for my apartment nearby). It was a hot day, not unlike the weather we are currently having, and he entertained with sharbat. He was demonstrating how he could juice the pom without even peeling it, and them punching a hole to squeeze out the juice into a glass. I was mesmerized by such culinary genius. But I digress.
In this recipe we are using the seeds (arils) and won’t be juicing those at all. (sob!)
The Devil and Those Red Stains
But I have also been mesmerized watching culinary tricks for breaking open the fruit under clean cold water. This eliminates the problem of the juice, which stains like the devil, and the water helps easily rinse away that membrane. Believe me, as a child, I was wild about poms (and you could tell by my stained fingers) (and clothes). Oh how I vexed my mother with the stains on my shirt.
But we don’t have to do that either, if you don’t want. Most markets will carry those small tubs of arils in the produce section, ready to go.
Of course, maybe you can’t find any of it at all. In that case, don’t fret- I like both the tartness and the crunch, and recommend as a sub using a bit of halved green grapes and a bit of something like sunflower seeds or nuts (for crunch).
But the idea is a nice fruity vinaigrette on your cuke salad, which most people enjoy all summer long. The blueberries in this are just a delicious bonus.
Welcome to Blueberry Week!
All week long I have been be sharing blueberry recipes along with other blogger friends of mine. This is the final day as well as my final recipe for the event. Thank you for following along! Now, a few more recipes:
- Blueberry Sourdough Coffee Cake by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Blueberry, Honey, and Goat Cheese Naan Pizza by Cheese Curd In Paradise
- Persian Blueberry Anar Salad with Cucumber by Palatable Pastime
- Blueberry Cheesecake Bars by Cookaholic Wife
- Blueberry Skillet Cookie by Crumb Top Baking
- Blueberry Pie Fudge by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Blueberry Buckle by Savory Moments
- No-Bake Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Tart by Sweet Beginnings
- Roasted Blueberry Ice Cream by Daily Dish Recipes
- Vegan Blueberry Coconut Pie by The Baking Fairy
- Blueberry Lemon Curd Dessert Egg Rolls by The Freshman Cook
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Persian Blueberry Anar Salad with Cucumber and Goat Cheese
- 1 English cucumber chopped
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1 cup pomegranate arils
- 1/2 cup scallions
- 4 ounces fresh goat cheese crumbles
- 1 tablespoon chiffonade fresh mint leaves
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons blueberry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- salt and black pepper
- Combine salad ingredients in a bowl.
- Whisk together the dressing and combine with salad.