Count Your Blessings – Quinoa Pomegranate Salad

The Holiday of Sukkos is called Zman Simchoseinu – The Time of Rejoicing.  We are commanded to rejoice for eight days, and to do it outside, open to elements. For the duration of this holiday, eight days, we dwell in the sukkah – a booth, or tent, erected outside. Some people actually sleep in the sukkah, but we only eat there. On the photo, you can see a miniature model of a sukkah, made for my husband by a Russian artist Eduard Kryman. It actually serves as a case to carry an Esrog (a ritual citron), which constitutes an important part of the observance. There is no roof other than palm branches which leaves us open to the elements the way we were during the forty years of wondering in the dessert.

sukot

To complete the set, we also need a lulav, which is a tall and straight palm branch tied together with some myrtle and willow branches. Together, the lulav and esrog are called The Four Species, and each one of the four has a special significance. Palm–because it is written (Psalms 92:13): ‘The righteous bloom like a date palm.’ Myrtle–because it is written (Zechariah 1:8): ‘And he stood among the myrtle-trees.’  Willow–because it is written (Psalms 68:5): ‘Extol Him who rides on the clouds [aravot], the Lord is His name.’ Esrog, otherwise called “the beautiful fruit,” or “the fruit of a goodly tree,” alludes to (Psalms 104: 1): ‘You are clothed in glory and majesty.’ (http://www.myjewishlearning.com/).

However, there is a much simpler, down to earth explanation of the Four Species symbolism. On a very basic level, they bind together the four types of people:

  • The lulav (palm) has taste but no smell, symbolizing those who study Torah but do not possess good deeds.
  • The hadass (myrtle) has a good smell but no taste, symbolizing those who possess good deeds but do not study Torah.
  • The aravah (willow) has neither taste nor smell, symbolizing those who lack both Torah and good deeds.
  • The esrog has both a good taste and a good smell, symbolizing those who have both Torah and good deeds.

Every day of Sukkos, we wave them in all directions, to affirm our belief in the Master of the Universe. We rejoice because we have complete faith that during the ten days of Awe, between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, we have been judged favorably, and we are looking forward to a sweet year full of blessings.

Before I get to the recipe, I want to stress two important factors:

  1. When we dwell in a sukkah, we are not only fulfilling one of the commandments, we are actually surrounded by it.
  2. During the entire Sukkos, we extend special blessings to all the people of the world.

pomegranate-heart-health-benefits

It is believed that a pomegranate contains 613 seeds, equal to the number of commandments. Kids are usually encouraged to count them, but I haven’t yet met a child who has been able to count all 613. Still, pomegranate is traditional both as sukkah decoration and as part of the food.

Qna Pom sld 3.jpg

For this salad, I have added yet another symbolic touch – yellow lentils. According to the description of the High Priest’s garments, his robe was decorated on the bottom by alternating pomegranates and golden bells. I wanted to achieve this effect, using the quinoa base as a canvas.

Qna Pom sld 1.jpg

Garlic is there for a little zing – a personality, if you will, and mint for freshness. I think , I’ve covered all bases, and all we need is seasoning.

Qna Pom sld 2.jpg

 

 

Playing it by ear, I dressed it with lemon juice and olive oil and seasoned with my favorite combination of cinnamon and cumin, as well as salt and freshly ground pepper.

qna-pom-sld

As we still have a few days of the holiday left, I am taking this opportunity to send my blessings to all of you, Beautiful People, for a sweet and wonderful year, full of joy!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (1 cup uncooked)
  • 1 cup cooked yellow lentils (1/2 cup uncooked)
  • Seeds of 1 pomegranate
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 – 3 garlic cloves, squeezed
  • A pinch of cumin
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

PROCEDURE

Mix all ingredients and count your blessings – enjoy!

Advertisements

26 Comments Add yours

  1. bsickles says:

    Wishing you a blessed holiday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, and blessings to you and yours!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I count my blessings through blogging also. I love to come back to visit you. Here’s my blog:
    https://theshowersofblessing.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for stopping by! I am now following your blog, and I hope you come back to visit mine again.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. lilyandardbeg says:

    Thank you-and blessings to you and all your family 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jessica says:

    Yum!! Sounds delicious Dolly! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jessica, glad you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Tali says:

    Sounds like a great recipe! Chag Sameach!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Chag Sameach to you and yours!

      Like

  6. This is a good recipe for me. I eat quinoa, but I don’t have good recipes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We love quinoa, and I have quite a few recipes. You can see them if you go under the category Main Dishes, and then search for quinoa in the Ingredients field. Let me know if you can’t find them, and I’ll give you links.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll go back to look for them. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Let me know if you need help finding.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Sumith Babu says:

    Great combination of flavours!! Dolly this sounds so delicious.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Sumith Babu says:

        You are welcome:)

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Life is telling me quinoa and pomegranate need to be together hehe. My health-esteem queen had a similar idea! Must try this. As always, it looks divine 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, they are practically married to each other! Thank you, sweetheart!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Incredibly insightful, looking forth to coming back again

    Like

  10. Yum! Many blessings to you for a joyous new year. I love to etrog box. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! The artist made only three of those, for my husband and sons, and they are all similar but a little different. We really treasure them!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is so nice to have something like that. It is irreplaceable!

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s