This Green olive, Tomato and Pomegranate Salad seems like an odd combination..until you think about it. Salty, sweet and sour is always a winner and this salad captures that combination beautifully. Simple to prepare and incredibly versatile, it is just the thing for exhausted tastebuds.
This Green Olive, Tomato and Pomegranate Salad or Nar Eksili Yesil Zeytin Salatasi, is a Turkish dish and one of my favorites from my newest cookbook acquisition “Istanbul and Beyond, Exploring the Diverse Cuisines of Turkey” by Robyn Eckhardt. Robyn and her photographer husband, David Hagerman, have traveled extensively through Turkey, having fallen in love with both the food and the culture. This book focuses on the eastern half of the country, where their travels revealed not only a beautiful landscape, but also rich and diverse regional cuisines. Luckily for us, they have documented their journey with an incredible array of delicious dishes and mouth watering photographs.
To say that I am a fan of this cookbook would be an understatement. After going through almost an entire pad of post it notes marking recipes I wanted to make, I finally gave up – “who am I kidding? I’m going to make everything!!”.
Choosing the first recipe was an almost impossible task, but I settled on this Green Olive, Tomato and Pomegranate Salad that I tasted at Melissa’s Produce. After almost a week of holiday indulgence, I was craving something lighter with a more vibrant taste and this salad delivered. Salty olives, juicy tomatoes, a little heat from chiles all wrapped in a lemon and pomegranate molasses dressing.. is your mouth watering yet??
Robyn notes that this salad works equally well as an appetizer nibble or mezze or as part of a breakfast spread, as it is eaten in Turkey.
I discovered it’s also fabulous spooned over some chicken breasts I’d roasted with za’atar but it would also be good over just plain roasted chicken… or on top of a nice helping of salad greens.. or.. well, let’s be honest, it’s just delicious no matter when or how you eat it!!