Monday, 11 March 2013

Tomato pomegranate vinaigrette and a long weekend

It's hot.  I'm busy.  So I have bundled up lots of weekend photos into some collages and tried to keep this short.  But there is a lot to say.  A whinge, a celebration and a salad.  And did I mention it was the Labour Day long weekend.  It's autumn but it feels like summer.  Melbourne is eight days into its nine day heatwave.  Tomorrow is forecast to be a record-breaking 37 C.  Nine days with the temperature over 30.  That is my excuse if this post is slightly rambling.

Summer: the Bad
sweat, sleepless nights, fast-melting soft serve ice cream, mozzies, hayfever, too hot to bake, no energy, hot pavements, frizzy hair, sunburn, squinting in the sunshine, flies, getting into a hot car, airless closed up rooms, sticky tired kids, putting suncream on our white cat, plants shrivelling if not watered regularly, heat-affected chocolate

Things that most displeased me this weekend:
  • No chocolate in my pain au chocolat from the supermarket.  (I know, I know, what did I expect buying them from the supermarket but they were so cheap!)
  • Getting organised to go to the pool alone to swim laps and it was closed due to an outbreak of gastro.  
  • Hayfever from dusty ground at the Melbourne Irish Festival (above), despite driving there in the rain!
  • Supermarket sold out of all fizzy water (except the tiny bottle) late on Saturday afternoon.

Summer: the Good:
bare feet, swimming, icy poles, tomatoes, evening walks, gorgeous clouds, leaving the house without a cardigan, spills dry quickly, cold drinks, long nights, flowers, washing dried quickly on the line, summer dresses, quick relaxed dinners, summer dresses, air-conditioned shopping centres, opening the doors at the end of the day, stone fruit, the beach, listening to crickets at night, salads.

Things that most delighted me this weekend:
  • Watching the step dancing at the Melbourne Irish Festival
  • Eating limeade icy poles
  • (Not quite weekend but) International Women's Day morning tea on Friday (great brownies, thanks Penny)
  • Sylvia playing in her paddling pool
  • Green fairy floss at the Melbourne Irish Festival
  • A cold organic lemonade at Abbotsford Convent to combat the heat
  • Sylvia playing in the Edinburgh Gardens kids park after the Melbourne Irish Festival

It is a hot weekend when Sylvia just wants her ice cream, paddling pool filled, icy poles and even sets up a play shop in her bedroom selling ice creams (made of paper and tissue paper) and icy poles (made of yoghurt tubs and wooden sticks).  At the Melbourne Irish Festival her soft serve ice cream didn't take long to fall on the ground and was replaced by pink and green fairy floss.

We also went to the BikeFest at Abbotsford Convent.  I drove my car there (sad face).  Even if I was as fit as I used to be when I cycled about more it would have been too hot, especially with a 4 year in tow.  I did get out on my bike briefly later in the weekend.

Sylvia loved the coconut-based choc-mint ice cream.  I was a bit less sure of it but it was interesting to try.  I enjoyed the pakoras and steamed dumplings from Lentil as Anything.  We also had a lovely time tasting bakes, jams and chutneys that were submitted to the food competitions.  I particularly loved the pomegranate jelly.  Sylvia had a great banana oat choc chip cookie.  I was fascinate to see a tandem bike on display and enjoyed the music.

Summer means salads.  Cold, easy, quick meals.  I searched Pinterest, Eat Your Books and Delicious.  Delicious produced great salad inspiration.  I finally am getting some success with Eat Your Books and found a burger that I made the second night to serve with the salad.

The salad was really a tomato pomengranate vinaigrette that Janet made recently.  It was easy to make and added great flavour to any fresh vegetables.  I didn't rest it in the fridge overnight and I used more salt than Janet.  It was still rather tangy but also very tasty.


I served it with different vegetable combinations over two nights.  The first night I tossed it with cooked corn, snow peas, red capsicum, spinach, feta, carrot.  The second night it was with spinach, red capsicum, mushroom, raw corn, carrot sticks.  I had a bad experience with a bag of avocados last week.  They only ripened in half the avocado.  It made me wary of buying more.  A shame.  I think avocados would be brilliant with the vinaigrette.  I think some rice or buckwheat groats or other grains would go well too.

The hot weather can't last forever.  Our days will get cooler.  So while I have the chance I am sending this to Lisa for this month's No Croutons Required (an event she runs with Jacqueline.  The theme is raw salads and soups.  While it is not technically raw, given that pomegranate molasses is boiled down molasses juice, I hope it will be close enough for jazz for Lisa.  I am also sending it to Ricki for her Wellness Weekends.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: Ukes, Labour Day and Pumpkin facon soup
Two years ago:  MLLA Renovation pancakes
Three years ago: Bread and Roses for International Women’s Day
Four years ago: Citrus Grape Cake
Five years ago: PPN #54 The Princess of Pastas

Tomato-Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Adapted from Turquoise via the Taste Space
Make enough substantial salad for 6-8 people

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tbsp basil infused olive oil (or oil of choice, like extra virgin olive oil)
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 tomato, chopped
1 spring onion, sliced
1 small garlic clove, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
generous pinch of pepper

Blend all ingredients (or strain through a sieve).  Toss through salad or keep in the fridge until ready to use.

Salad suggestions for pairing with the vinaigrette: spinach, rocket, corn, red capsicum, carrot sticks, cucumber, mushrooms, snow peas, feta, goats cheese and avocado.

On the stereo:
Late Night Tales: Nouvelle Vague: Various Artists

25 comments:

  1. Glad you had a good weekend at least you braved the outdoors, we did not leave the house. Also it did not help my friends from Edinburgh kept sending me pictures of the snow.I so want this hot weather to go away. My pool was also closed for the weekend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mrs Fraueny - grrr about pools being closed in a heatwave but at least it has cooled down now - hope you enjoyed the cool change

      Delete
  2. I could use some of those warm temperatures! Canada is cold. Thanks for your entry to NCR. Works for me. Delicious I am sure as all of your creations are.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lisa - hope you enjoy some warmer temperatures soon

      Delete
  3. I can't wait until the heat comes and I start craving salads again! This dressing is definitely one I'll be making!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Joanne - the dressing is great - hope the salad weather hits you soon

      Delete
  4. I envy your your sun. I woke up this morning and thought "my windows really are in need of a spring clean" . . . only it turned out that it was the sky that was a filthy colour! But this vinaigrette sounds lovely. I hadn't thought of using pomegranate molasses in a dressing. It's in my to-do list!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Marmaduke Scarlet - I wake up in summer and can barely look at the window because it is just too bright - even through our blindes - just as well or I might notice that the windows are indeed in need of a spring clean

      Delete
  5. I would've thought you'd head to Canberra for its 100th birthday this weekend, J-lady! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Hannah - would have loved to be there but just didn't have the energy for a 7 hour drive :-)

      Delete
  6. Booyah! I am jealous you already have summer in the air. We had a teaser this weekend: 10C but it is still many moons away from spring. Glad you liked the vinaigrette. I bravely bought 5 avocados this week. I hope they all don't ripen on the same day. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Janet - I am quite looking forward to winter - hope you get to enjoy your avocados (do you keep some in the fridge and leave others on the bench so some ripen quicker - that is what I was doing but it didn't work with my latest bagful because some bits of them never ripened!!!)

      Delete
  7. It's not all good, but I would like a taste of your summer and that dressing. Must look out for pomegranate molasses.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jacqueline - you have my commiserations - it only took one Scottish winter to really make me appreciate an Aussie summer. I wonder if balsamic vinegar might work in place of pomegranate molasses - not quite as sharp but it does have the depth of flavour

      Delete
  8. The weather looks so lovely, wish it was like that here in Canada right now! Your dressing looks absolutely yummy, I have never tried pom molasses though, not sure where to find it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Natalie - I buy pomegranate molasses at the local middle eastern grocers - not sure if it is sold in health food shops - you can also make your own by reducing pomegranate juice (I have seen recipes online)

      Delete
  9. I'm sick of this heat! I'm a cold weather girl. Love your pics! I'll make the dressing today if I can, I bought some pom. molasses and haven't done anything with it yet :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Veganopoulous - I am a cold weather girl at heart but a stint in Edinburgh taught me I need just a little sunshine in my life. Hope you enjoy the dressing - my pomegranate molasses is quite old because I don't use it much.

      Delete
  10. Oh, I am so sorry about your heat. I can say this with even more empathy than usual because we have finally (finally!!) hit autumn weather this week and I am rejoicing in it. The thought of going back to weeks of 35'+ makes me shiver and I sincerely hope it doesn't happen. I also sincerely hope your heatwave does end after tomorrow and you get some autumn of your own!

    It sounds like a busy weekend and a mixed one - your 'dislike' list has lots of very unfortunate things on it. Fortunately the good aspects sound enjoyable and your photos are great. This vinaigrette also sounds like my sort of dressing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kari - Perth generally seems to have had it worse than us this summer so I don't begurdge you this heat wave :-) As for my dislike list, I think I sometimes record these sort of things here because they are fun to remember but it is the like list that stays with me longer!

      Delete
  11. Hope you are enjoying the cooler weather today! I don't mind warm weather - this hot spell has gone on a bit longer than usual for Melbourne. Salads are made very rarely around here as no-one really eats them but I do love the sound of the flavours in your dressing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mel - E isn't keen on cold food but Sylvia tells us that we need to eat cold food because we live in a hot place :-) I find that if I make the salads substantial and include some burgers or snags or bread they are accepted :-)

      Delete
  12. Thankfully the cool chnage has come! It is still very hot inside the house, but hopefully it will come into line with the outside temperature soon. I love your photo collages.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Cakelaw - what bliss was that cool change. We were going for walks in the evening and finding it so much nicer than being in the hot house

      Delete
  13. Looks like you've had a wonderful weekend! I loved the photo collages, and this expression: "heat-affected chocolate". Oh, the pain! Also, it's a shame there was no chocolate in that pain au chocolat! No chocolate is even worse than heat-affected chocolate!

    I love the dressing idea! Never made a tomato dressing, and the addition of pomegranate sounds delicious! Fresh and fruity! :)

    ReplyDelete

I love hearing from you. Please feel welcome to share your feedback and questions. I have started using word verification recently to combat an avalanche of spam. Apologies for the hassle of reading the mysterious captcha code (refresh to find an easy one).