New Delhi, February 2017
Anedoctes about a doctor, superfoods, and a salad for dinner. With Honey, of course.
Have you ever heard about the story of the nurse who got married with the handsome doctor?
What a commonplace, isn't it?
Simply put, it's our story.
In the autumn of our lives, we got finally married three weeks ago. The doctor and me. I still survive.
The doctor knows a lot about food, more than anybody else I know. And is hard, very hard to please, as he has a very demanding palate. His favorite word is moderation: he can eat fried chicken thrice in a week to make cooking experiments, then keep vegetarian for an entire month and skip sugar for weeks.
He doesn't believe in superfoods. Superfoods are marketing gimmicks- he use to say,- it's just a buzzword created to make you think that certain foods have "magic" powers as curing cancer or dementia. A dangerous and life-threatening strategy.
The good approach is a balanced and varied diet, because even a "superfood" can cause harmful effects if eaten in large amounts.
That's what he says, and i believe he's right.
So, there’s no such thing as a superfood... but Honey!
Honey is the only real superfood on Earth.
He can skip sugar for weeks but not honey for a single day.
He can talk for hours about honey types, plants, bees breeds and the benefits of every and each sort of honey. I mean, really, for hours. Never ask him about honey if you don't have time to listen, I recommend you.
But believe me, with his "Leonard Cohen-like" voice, it's a real delight listening to him.
The privilege of an elite 😄
The doctor has an inestimable collection of honeys from all over the world that he allows me to use sometimes under his strict control. His Jaffa Orange blossom honey was perfect for this nomad recipe. A bit of Israel's sun and taste in the gray, polluted New Delhi.
Speaking of superfoods, my starting idea was making the salad with quinoa or millet. Then his crabby jewish side emerged: "Too expensive and flavorless. Besides, it's birds food" he claimed.
Right then, so be it.
It seems that pomegranate is one of those new superfoods. Here in India they are beautiful, bright red and taste wonderful; in addition, they are in peak season, as oranges, as well.
Superfoods or not, the doctor loved this salad. It's for the honey hint, maybe? ;)
Cut to the chase, without further ado, here is the recipe:
Bulgur, orange and pomegranate salad with honey
Serves 4 as side dish
100 g bulgur
500 ml vegetable stock
8 pitted Medjool dates, coarsely chopped
20-30 g parsley, finely chopped
20 g green onions, finely sliced
2 navel oranges peeled with wedges cut into chunks
the juice of 1 orange
the juice of 1 lime
1 handful pomegranate seeds
about 2 teaspoons cinamon
3 tablespoon orange blossom honey
extra virgin olive oil
salt, to taste
In a pan, bring the stock to a boil and add the bulgur and cook for 20 minutes. Here the bulgur is sold loose and not precooked. If you have a precooked one, then follow the package instructions.
When ready, fluff it with a fork or simply by hands. I know it's an inherited vice, I like to touch the food, but I always have clean hands, short nails and I use no polish on them.
In a large bowl, combine the dates, pomegranate, orange, parsley and green onion. Stir the cinnamon in. Add the cooked bulgur and stir again.
In a little bowl, mix the orange and lime juice, oil and honey. Whisk strongly until dressing is smooth. pour the dressing on the salad and combine.
Add more cinnamon if you desire and a dash of sea salt. Stir and serve.