Redefining "Perfect"

When it comes to food, the most satisfying eating experience is one that is full of flavour and texture. In terms of flavour, the palate has 4 main sensory spots. One for sweet, one for bitter, another for salt and one for sour (I will leave the umami out for now as that will require a separate discussion). That is essentially what we taste, either as individual flavours or in combinations. The most satisfying flavour is one that engulfs your mouth with all four flavours, in turn, leaving you feeling satisfied (as not one flavour is missing).

When it comes to texture, there is smooth, crunchy, creamy, grainy and runny, all of which when mixed offer the perfect bite. Give anyone a high concentration of any one flavour or texture the experience will not be so perfect, in fact, it can become off setting and often times describes as “too creamy | too soft | too hard….”! For instance, munch on pure sugar and you will find that you really can’t. Despite sweet being the most preferable flavour, when food is overly sweet the palate will reject it. The same applies to salt, sour and obviously bitter. In the same effect, if you eat pure crunchy your palate will beg for a creamy relief, and when pure creamy, the palate will ask for something to crunch…

So why am I saying this?

Because we all know what perfection is in terms of food, but we sometimes forget that perfection is the same everywhere. If we are looking for perfect, then we must understand that perfect consists of bitter, sweet, salty and sour. It is smooth, crunchy, runny, creamy and grainy. Perfect can never be endlessly creamy and sweet! Today is Mother’s Day in this part of the world. All mothers know too well that motherhood is a bittersweet experience. It is never endlessly smooth sailing, nor is it completely choppy waters. At times it offers you the creamy comfort, then throws your way the crunchy bumps. Sometimes you take it with a grain of salt, and at times it leaves you feeling sour. However so, it is full of sweet moments.  As a whole motherhood is the perfect experience!

So to all of you great women out there, making homes, raising future generations and giving every bit of yourselves to ensure your children are good, happy, loved and ensuring the world goes on good too, may your experiences be filled with more sweet than bitter, and may you have the strength and the patience to deal with the bitter. May it all be perfect. Keep at it, and keep the faith in the sacredness of your job. You are after all, shaping tomorrow for everyone. Most importantly you are shaping it for your little bundles of joy, who no matter how old, will always remain your babies. You will always remember that first time you looked into each one’s eyes and said “I Love You”. Teach them well, and remind them always of what is really important. Allow them to be who they are, but steer them to who they can be. Happy Mothers’ Day to all of you, and to those expecting you are mothers too, just because you did not yet have the baby doesn’t make you less of a mother! We all know pregnancy and you are the one doing the most. As for those who have not yet had children and want to, then may you be granted this great experience. Those who do not wish to have children, be there for the ones who’ve had, they will always need all the help and support that they can get.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups mixed fresh lettuce
  • 1 large ruby red grapefruit, segmented
  • 3/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2 medium red raddish sliced
  • ¼ cup toasted walnuts or pine nuts
  • ¼ cup goat’s feta cheese, crumbled or cubed
  • 2 green onions, sliced

For the vinaigrette 

  • ¼ cup DS Premium Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice, reduced to 1/4 cup
  • 2 tablespoons ruby red grapefruit juice
  • 1 tablespoons of lime juice
  • pinch of salt flakes
  • freshly ground black pepper

Reduce the pomegranate juice. Toast the walnuts or pine nuts until slightly golden.

Meanwhile, wash and spin dry the lettuce, then tear it into bite-size pieces. Place the torn lettuce in a large bowl and set aside. Do not mix the rest of the ingredients with the lettuce at this point.

To segment the grapefruits: Peel them, and using a small paring knife, cut to release the fruit from the dividing membranes. This is done by sliding the knife closely between the edge of the fruit and its attached membrane.

To separate the pomegranate seeds: fill a bowl with cool water. Quarter the pomegranate and submerge each quarter under the water. Bend the pomegranate quarter backwards, until the spongy membranes break open. The seeds will fall to the bottom and the bitter membranes will float to the top. ¼ of a pomegranate should yield about ¼ cup of seeds, depending on the size of the fruit. Repeat, until all quarters have been seeded. Discard the membranes and the water, reserve the seeds.

Prepare the green onion by removing the root end and dried top tips, then clean them under running water. Diagonally, slice the onions into thin slices. Then crumble the feta cheese.

Once all is ready and you are ready to serve, mix all the salad ingredients together and dress lightly with the pomegranate dressing. Keep extra dressing in a sauceboat and serve next to the salad for top ups if required.

Serve this salad next to grills, baked fish, roasted chicken and even on its own with a few slices of pan con tomate (recipe on this link) for a light lunch.

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