This is a time of the year when Christmas memories are still fresh in my mind while thoughts of New Year's Eve celebrations are slowly taking over. In terms of cooking and eating, this means that I am still on recovery mode form all the Holiday eating, but aware that as December 31st gets closer, so does the need for some "New-Year-Good Luck " food. A salad with pomegranate seeds fits the bill.
I ll explain: Some foods are known for having specific meanings and therefore should be eaten sometime between December 31st and January 1st. In my family we always have lentils on New Year's Day. It's supposed to bring wealth during the year to come. Pomegranate seeds symbolize both wealth and fertility. Some people think you should eat the flesh around the seeds and store the dry seeds in your wallet during the entire year. The same goes for grapes and their seeds as well.
I am not going to spit grape seeds into my wallet...but eating lentils and pomegranate is a good idea. Superstitious? Maybe, but it also a tradition in my family and I enjoy celebrating it.
This is a warm salad, which is perfect for this time of the year when the temperatures are low and we crave "warming-tummy" foods.
Warm Apple, Celery and Pomegranate Salad Recipe:
To make one single-serving salad, you'll need: (if you want to make more, just double the ingredients.
1/2 tablespoon of unsalted butter
1/2 an apple, cut into chunks
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (if using dried, cut amount in half, but fresh is much better here)
1 celery stick, sliced
1 slice of Brie
Salt and pepper to taste
In a skillet, melt butter, add apples and thyme and cook for about 2 minutes, string often, just until the apples start to look browned but are still firm. Add the celery, and cook 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer to a plate (you can warm up the plate if you want to) and top it with a slice of cheese. The cheese should start to soften as it sits on top of the warm salad. sprinkle salad with pomegranate seeds and serve/eat immediately.
Note: the brie would melt better if it is at room temperature and not straight out of the fridge.