I noticed that the POM group is having another competition, the same time that POMs are on sale at the store. In fact, the wintry months are when these gems are in season. I know that this week is including dried fruit but, as I said, I am more a fan for the real thing. There’s nothing that beats biting into a sweet crisp fresh apple or savoring the succulence of fresh melon and berries. POMs are just one of those beloved things fresh. They can be utilized in nearly anything, matching up with just about any flavor and adds a nice crunch from cereals to soups to salads and more. Take my recipe for example. I wish I had more but alas I ran out of bread..period. Yes, I entirely ran out of bread and, for some odd ball reason, I’m really craving a sandwich.
The second item standing out is the spice mix which is more commonly referred to as za’atar. Za’atar is a condiment made from dried herbs and sesame seeds. These dried herbs included in za’atar vary, but, the primary candidates are: oregano, marjoram, thyme, and savory. Add sumac and you have the more traditional Lebanese variation of za’atar. It can be used just as similar to any spice mix, really. You can even coat some fish or chicken with this and grill it for an interesting and different take on “herb” chicken and whatnot. Srinkle it on/ in dips - I mean seriously. You don’t even need a spice grinder for this one.
Cornbread Salad With Pomagranate, Avocado & Za’atar
Cornbread 1 cup yellow cornmeal ½ cup soy flour ¼ cup cornstarch 1 tsp baking soda 2 tsp baking powder ½ tsp xanthan gum
2 tbsp nondairy margarine 1 cup nondairy milk alternative 1/3 cup sugar substitute 2 eggs, beaten
½ cup slivered and toasted blanched almonds ½ cup pomegranate seeds 1 firm Hass avocado ½ tbsp lemon zest
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees and spray a 5 X 10” loaf pan or similar to size with nonstick cooking spray.
For the cornbread, combine all your ingredients into a bowl and stir until well combined. Add the liquid ingredients and stir.
Pour into the pan and bake until golden brown, 20 minutes or so. Once finished, set aside to cool.
Combine all the ingredients of your Za’atar and set them aside.
Cut your avocado into ¼ inch pieces.
Once your cornbread has cooled, you can either cut it into shape, or, you can coarsely bread it by hand into a bowl. Once it is broken up, add the za’atar and toss. Add in the avocado chunks, lemon zest, some of the ¼ cup of the POM seeds, and almonds. Stir together gingerly until you get an even mixture. For presentation’s sake, scatter the remaining pretty POM seeds on top, dust with a bit more sumac for color and you’re ready for a Middle Eastern take on the traditional cornbread salad - yum!