Friday, March 14, 2008

3 Recipe #33: Sine Qua Non Salad

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As I'd promised to post some more creative salad recipes, here's another -- the "Sine Qua Non Salad." This recipe is yet another "Corey original," & happens to be a newer favorite of mine.

Sine qua non. So why the unusual name? And what could've possibly prompted such a title? Let me provide a brief explanation. If you already know what the phrase means, or could care less about such things & just want to eat, then please just skip ahead to the recipe. ;-) If not, please proceed as you were.....

According to, the Latin phrase sine qua non literally translates into "without which [cause] not." In simpler terms, the phrase refers to "an essential or indispensable element or condition."

Many know the term by its legal usage, i.e., a "test used to establish causation in fact," but the phrase has since been expanded to a more general usage in various languages, and is also applied in the fields of economics, philosophy and medicine.

Mind you, this post isn't meant to be a dissertation in Latin or a lesson in law, but nonetheless, that's a quick explanation for those of you who might be interested in the background details.

So, it logically follows that the "Sina qua non" salad is what I like to think of as an "essential salad" recipe. While it's not exactly what you'd call a "basic salad," it's nonetheless a "new favorite" to which I return again & again. It's got all the proper ingredients for the makings of a great summer salad -- Crisp and fresh, and IMHO, simply unforgettable. So, in my mind, that makes it truly essential. ;-)

Salad Ingredients:
1/2 lb. mesclun (i.e., mixed) greens
1/4 lb. spinach
1 avocado, peeled, pitted & sliced into medium-sized wedges
1 pomegranate
10 olives, pitted (NOTE: Use a mixture of green & black olives like Greek, Kalamata, cracked green, &/or Gaeta olives.)
1 small handful of pistachios
1/2 pint grape tomatoes
1 yellow (or orange) bell pepper, pitted & seeded & sliced into wedges
1/2 cucumber -- Do NOT peel!
1 sprigs, fresh basil, stemmed
1 sprigs, fresh thyme, stemmed (use leaves only)
1 sprigs, fresh oregano, stemmed (use leaves only)
sumac, a few sprinkles

Dressing Ingredients:
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp. lemon peel, grated
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. ground sumac (NOTE: Sumac can be purchased in most Mediterranean markets. Sumac usually has plenty of salt added in its ground form, so no additional salt is requied.)
1/2 tsp. mustard
1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 garlic clove, peeled & finely minced

1. Wash mixed greens & spinach thoroughly. If spinach leaves are large, tear them into slightly smaller pieces. Put in a salad tosser to remove moisture & put into a large salad bowl.
2. Cut pomegranate into quarters, remove seeds & set aside. Discard scraps.
3. Cut up avocado into medium-sized wedges. Remove pit & discard. Set aside.
4. Wash cucumber. Do NOT peel. (The skin is where a lot of the vitamins are & leaving the skin on gives the salad a much livelier, crunchier texture.) Score the outsides with the tines of a fork in a vertical direction, rotating the cucumber each time until you've gone all the way around the cucumber, & then slice horizontally into 1/4 inch circles. Place in bowl.
5. Cut up bell pepper into long vertical slices, about a 1/2 inch thick. If the pepper is extraordinarily long, you should probably halve these slices as well.) Place in bowl.
6. Wash grape tomatoes & set aside.
7. Wash & pat dry fresh spices (i.e., basil, thyme, oregano). Remove leaves & add them to bowl.
8. Add olives. Toss salad.
9. Make dressing, mixing together all dressing ingredients, pour in a small flask -- preferably one with a lid, & shake vigorously until mixture is well-blended.
10. Immediately before serving, add tomatoes & avocados, & toss again. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds & pistachios on top. Then add a few sprinkles of sumac. Serve & enjoy!


Oscar said...

im gonna try this one later this week...mmmmm

Abimars said...

I am ashamed to say this is my first visit here, thank goodness for archives I've got a lot to try out....

Cyberpenguin said...

Hi Oscar & Abi,
Thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoy the recipes here!

No worries. Just enjoy your visit! (There's just way too much going on in life & the blogosophere to possibly be able to do it all & see it all. ;-) ) Hope you find something tasty here. ;-) In addition to recipes, I've also got some articles on nutrition, kitchen gadgets & other useful tips. Have fun!

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