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.

During this holiday we are commanded to rejoice, and we do, as you have seen in this funky video.

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!

A Freilishen Sukkos! Hag Sukkot Sameach!

14 Comments Add yours

  1. 🙂 Is there enough for two?

    I would like to sink my teeth into it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Enough for 6 – 8, and I am sorry that I cannot send it to you by e-mail, darling!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love all the symbolism! I always learn something from your posts.
    The dish sounds delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Dorothy. Sending you many blessings!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. lghiggins says:

    https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/2022/10/09/count-your-blessings-quinoa-pomegranate-salad-4/ Great post about the Four Species of the symbols for the Feast of Booths. The author is Jewish but her simpler explanation reminds me of Jesus’ parables. The video will leave you smiling.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. lghiggins says:

    I am so sorry, Dolly. I had a computer/user error. I was trying to send this by text to my little book club, ladies at the church I used to attend before I moved. They are Christians and I knew they would enjoy the Old Testament references as well as all of the symbolism. Please feel free to delete this and my mistake. I am so embarrassed over it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Linda, I couldn’t find it on your site, so I am not aware of any mistakes on your part. I only know that you have reblogged my post, and I thank you for it.

      Like

  5. Americaoncoffee says:

    A perfect harvest for the season and for the blessed occasion. Enjoy! 💞

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for a lovely comment, darling!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Americaoncoffee says:

        Wishing you an enjoyable, seasonal, blessed celebration. 💞💞💞💞🥘🧆

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you so much, darling, and many blessings to you! 😻

        Liked by 1 person

  6. purpleslob says:

    I guess you are ok, since you posted. Just wondering how you fared during Ian,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ian drenched us in torrential rain as we were coming home from services and the next morning going to services. Considering that I am still in the wheelchair, being pushed by my long-suffering husband, we got soaked through ponchos and all. But we consider rains as blessings, so we laughed it off. Thank you for asking, my dear purple person!

      Liked by 2 people

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