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!

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54 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

  11. Christy B says:

    Your writing of gratitude mixes with a delicious recipe so beautifully 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, dear Christy; I am so glad you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Reblogged this on koolkosherkitchen and commented:

    Just in case some of you, Beautiful People, missed this post last year, I am repeating it, with my blessings and best wishes for a sweet, healthy, and successful year!

    Like

    1. Thank you for pingback.

      Like

  13. Blessings to you and your family Dolly 🙂 What a lovely interesting post. I love anything quinoa, and your salad sounds really scrumptious. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Lynne; I am so glad you like it!
      Thank you for your blessings and good wishes! 😻

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your good wishes, dear Mel, and the same to you and yours! 😻

      Like

  14. This is nice. Too bad it’s very hard to find good pomegranates here at this time of year. They are not ripe yet. Hag Sameach!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hag Sameach to you and yours! One of the reasons I invented this salad was that pomegranates were all sour, but in a salad it works well,

      Like

    1. Thank you for reblogging.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for the always very great recipes an the wonderful stories around. Have a nice week. 😉 Michael

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you so much, Michael! You have a great week as well! 😻

        Like

  15. lghiggins says:

    I love how you create your own dishes using symbolic food items to enhance your holidays. May your blessings be many during this special season.

    Liked by 1 person

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

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Pan says:

    The explanations of observances, the verses and what the foods represent is great seasoning in this post..
    The dish looks mouthwatering.. Bless you and yours 💛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment and your blessings!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. That Sukkot box is amazing!! And I’ve never seen a salad like this one!
    But I love pomegranate!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The box is truly a work of art, thank you! And between us girls, nobody has ever seen this salad until I made it up, and I made it up because the pomegranate was sour and no good for anything but a salad. But the salad is delicious!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome. Aha!! No wonder I’d never seen anything like it before!
        Anything you make is!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. During the holiday, we had dinner at the Rabbi’s house, and they served a kale salad with pomegranate (for the same reason – pomegranate was sour!), but with all due respect, I wasn’t impressed. I guess pomegranate seeds work well with full protein or starch context. Try it – you’ll see!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Kale is awful, any time, any where! lol

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Is not! If you know what to do with it, of course! We got addicted to my kale chips, and it only takes 4 minutes in a microwave to make them.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Ok, okay, I’ll withhold final judgement till I taste yours! Ok?

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Fine with me, girl friend!

        Liked by 1 person

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