Herbed Green Olive, Pomegranate and Walnut Salad Recipe


Herbed green olive, pomegranate and walnut salad.  Is this a salad or a relish?  I always find myself asking that.  I think it can go either way, because it is equally delicious when served with bread.

Super easy.  All you have to do is grab a handful of firm green olives, preferably a variety with a slight bitterness to it, and combine it with some fresh herbs, pomegranate arils, and walnuts.  The dressing is made with essential ingredients commonly found in the cuisine of Armenia, the Levant and surrounding regions.

photo © Christine Bedrossian for

Pomegranate molasses is basically a pomegranate juice reduction, with sometimes lemon and sugar added.  If you cannot find it in stores nearby you can order it online, make your own, or simply use a balsamic vinegar reduction instead.  Red pepper paste usually comes in jars and has the look and consistency of tomato paste.  Aleppo pepper is fruity and spicy red peppers that are sun-dried, ground and mixed in with a little olive oil; it can be substituted with a combination of sweet Hungarian paprika and cayenne pepper.

pomegranate molasses

red pepper paste AND Aleppo pepper


Now, when it comes to pomegranates, select one that is plump, heavy and deep golden red in color – given that it’s in season; otherwise settle for what is available, like I have done here.  The arils should be firm, reddish in color, sweet yet sour.

To separate the arils from the white pith you will need to work “underwater” in a bowl of water.  Cut skin in a couple of places and break-up pomegranate with your hands into sections.  Keep working underwater while you pull apart the kernels; discarding chunky skin pieces as you do so.   Stir water vigorously a few times, let sit for a while and then remove all small pieces that float on top.  Stir once more and repeat until no more skin and pith are left.  Arils will sink to the bottom of the bowl. Pour water out and pat-dry on paper towels before use.



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1 cup firm green olives, pitted
1 cup pomegranate arils
½ cup walnuts, lightly toasted, skin rubbed off
1/3 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves
2-to-3 Tb fresh snipped chives, or green onions
2 Tb olive oil
½ a lemon juice, or to taste
½-to-1 tsp pomegranate molasses
½ tsp mild sun-dried red pepper paste
¼-to-½ tsp ground red Aleppo pepper, or flakes

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and toss gently.  Serve slightly cold.

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