Herb Salad with Green Beans and Pomegranates

I am in the middle of the final three weeks of my running season. I had a 10k race last Friday, next Friday I will run another Half Marathon, and a week after the final 10k race of the season. And then it's over until Sept/Oct or so.

Last weeks 10k race was good, although it left me upset. Wanna know why? I finished 3rd, my first time ever on a podium. I should have had all reason to be happy, right? Unfortunately I didn't know (in fact I believed I was 4th or so I was told), so I went home before the prize ceremony. Back home I checked the results online, and realized I was 3rd and in the prizes. Oh, I was upset. One chance to be on the podium, which only happened because a few of the very fast runners of my age group weren't participating. And then I miss to pick up my prize? Unforgivable.

Anyway, I got over it and have my prize by now. But the applause and attention on the podium would have been nice too, don't you think? Friends who went to the prize ceremony said they cheered for me even in my absence. That was surely a little comfort.
Let's move on now. Back to business and food.

I like to eat light a couple of days before a race, no matter if it's a 5k, 10k or Half Marathon. I don't want to carry around undigested food with me, nor any unwanted fat reserves that I will not need, nor do I want to be bloated, sluggish and tired.

Salads are the perfect meal choice on those days. Light and refreshing is what goes best these days, now that summer finally seems to be on its way to Dubai.
I was craving a herb salad. Something I have never made before. I knew herbs just as one or a couple of ingredients in salad, but never as the main star. After grocery shopping I came home with parsley, mint, purslane, water cress and chives. I picked arugula, basil and lemon thyme from our garden. To add some texture I threw in some green beans that were just shortly steamed. A herb salad would be naturally very green, right? I wanted some color and topped it with a handful of pomegranate seeds. I thought that a pungent-sweet honey lemon dressing would bring out both the herbs and the pomegranates. And it did. My personal stars in this salad are the mint and pomegranates. A heavenly combination, that will surely star in many more salads to come. My vegetable shelf in the fridge is packed with green leaves, herbs, pomegranates and lemon these days. That's how good this salad is. Throw in some toasted nuts and seeds and it's almost a lunch.

I probably don't need to tell you how good green leaves for you are. I am still exploring anti-inflammatory foods, and green leaves and herbs are one of the best sources. Purslane is strongly anti-inflammatory, as it is rich in omega 3 fatty acids and an excellent source of vitamin A and C. Parsley is rich in antioxidant and the best source of vitamin K among herbs. So good, that you should always have them at home and throw them into whatever dish you can. Bon appetit!

(Print Recipe)

1 cup parsley leaves
1 cup mint leaves
1/2 cup purslane leaves
1/2 cup arugula leaves
1/4 cup water cress
1/4 cup basil leaves
1/4 cup chives, snipped into 1-inch pieces

1 1/2 cups green beans, ends trimmed

1 pomegranate, seeds of

2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 lemon, zest of, finely grated
1-2 teaspoons lemon thyme leaves (optional)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
salt and pepper to taste

Serves 4
Steam the green beans for 3-4 minutes, they should retain a crisp. Turn them into a bowl of ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside.

Combine all ingredients for the dressing and whisk until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine all herbs and leaves and the green beans. Pour over the dressing and mix until well coated. Sprinkle over with pomegranate seeds. Ready to serve.

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