appetizers · desserts · garnishes

Pomegranate Granita with Sugar Frosted Mint Leaves

Pomegranate Granita with Sugar Frosted Mint Leaves

Bring a frosty wintery feel to your next special dinner party menu and serve Pomegranate Granita with Sugar Frosted Mint Leaves in chilled shot glasses. This intensely flavored fruit granita can be served as a refreshing palate cleanser between courses or, as a light and cooling dessert after a heavy main course. The good thing is… you can make everything in advance and it’s all super-easy to do.

No special equipment is required to churn the granita and to make the characteristic granular look, simply rake the frozen fruit juice with the tines of a fork. The natural sweetness from the pomegranate juice and sugar gives this granita a lovely soft slushy texture. Continue reading “Pomegranate Granita with Sugar Frosted Mint Leaves”

Food · food + drink · posts · salads

Baby Spinach Salad with Dates, Oranges, Pomegranate and Feta Cheese with a Spiced Citrus Dressing

Spinach Salad, Dates With Citrus Dressing

When I travel to Ireland and visit family I never feel my visit is quite complete unless I’ve had my day in Dublin. A city that holds many memories, from the time spent as a student at catering college, working various jobs, the meeting of friends and the countless shopping trips. Also, seeking out favourite cafés and restaurants to have a “cup of tea and a bakery bun” or something a little more filling. One place I always love to visit is the mini department store Avoca, almost never leaving empty-handed. I didn’t really need another cookbook… but then again, I must have!  A Year at Avoca cookbook is a calendar of the cafés favourite seasonal recipes and my sister says that this is her “feel good cookbook” and I couldn’t agree more. Continue reading “Baby Spinach Salad with Dates, Oranges, Pomegranate and Feta Cheese with a Spiced Citrus Dressing”

appetizers · posts

Olives, Walnuts and Pomegranate – Zeytoon Parvaradeh

olives, walnuts, pomegranate and mintWhen I get my hands on a new cookbook I cant wait to flick and read through the book, picking up information about ingredients and recipes, reading stories about the author and learning bits of history related to the cuisine! Also, feasting my eyes on the mouth-watering photographs before heading into the kitchen to try out some new recipes… the tasty part!

Some months ago the cosy Words Bookstore and Café hosted a book signing by the lovely Ariana Bundy, promoting her new cookbook Pomegranates and Roses! I am not familiar with Persian cooking so it was a wonderful opportunity to meet Ariana herself and get a signed copy of her cookbook, to learn more about this very colourful cuisine! In fact it was only a couple of months earlier that Suzanne Husseini  visited Words Bookstore and Café for her cookbook signing … another lovely cookbook!

pomegranate paste and seeds, garlic, mint, basil, walnuts, olives and vanilla olive oil

To whet the appetite, Ariana demonstrated two delicious recipes from her Pomegranates and Roses cookbook, Zeytoon Parvaradeh, an olive, walnut and pomegranate appetizer and Mast O Khaiar, a cold yoghurt soup garnished with dried rose petals … both mouth-watering recipes, full of flavour and easy to prepare! Since then, I have made Zeytoon Parvaradeh on a few occasions, nibbled on some sweet Goosheh Feel and used some of the Ekhlas dates from the freezer for Omeletteh Khorma for breakfast and made Joojeh Kabab for a barbecue! There are many recipes that I want to try from this cookbook and I am sure there will be no complaints from the family!

While demonstrating Zeytoon Parvaradeh Ariana did mention that Persian pomegranate molasses/paste is the preferred brand with her recipes! The pomegranate molasses that I use is much thicker and has a more tart taste, so I guess it is finding a brand that has a good balance between sweet and sour! Maybe adding a little honey or lemon juice to a recipe, to balance the sweet and sour where needed! Thank you Ariana for letting me take the rest of pomegranate paste home and as promised I have prepared your recipe! olives, walnuts and pomegranates served in small dishes

The recipe for Zeytoon Parvaradeh has been adapted, with the addition of garlic and a drizzle of vanilla olive oil on top before serving!  I used the Spanish Manazilla olives as suggested but used a sweet Basil (had some in the garden) instead of Asian Basil! Used a mini food processor to blend all the ingredients together, rather than a pestle and mortar to crush the olives! I came across some lovely lemon mint at a farmers market recently, which I will try when I next make this recipe!

As an appetizer for a dinner party, serve Zeytoon Parvaradeh in individual dishes, alongside thin slices of lightly toasted French bread or water crackers! Or, place everything in a serving bowl and let everyone tuck in!

Zeytoon Parvaradeh

Recipe adapted from the  Pomegranates and Roses cookbook by Ariana Bundy.


  • 125g stoned Manzanilla olives
  • 25g shelled walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 6 fresh mint leaves
  • 6 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed (optional)

for garnish

How to make: Reserve 4 olives for the garnish, then add the remaining olives, walnuts, extra-virgin olive oil, pomegranate molasses, mint, basil and garlic to a small processor and blitz for a few seconds, scrape down the sides of the bowl and blitz again until mixture is very finely chopped. Place the olive mixture into a bowl and leave the flavour to develop for a couple of hours or overnight before serving. Place the olive mixture into individual serving dishes and garnish with whole olives, pomegranate seeds, mint leaf and a drizzle of vanilla olive oil on top, if using. Serves 4.