Friday, December 10, 2010

~ Day 19 ~Eating from the Land ~1

  אֶרֶץ חִטָּה וּשְׂעֹרָה, וְגֶפֶן וּתְאֵנָה וְרִמּוֹן; אֶרֶץ-זֵית שֶׁמֶן, וּדְבָשׁ

For the L-rd your G-d is bringing you into a good land.. It is a land of wheat and barley, grapevines, fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey (dates)... Deuteronomy 8:8

Seven wonderful fruits of the Land. 
Grain~ wheat and barley. 
Fruit~grapes, figs and pomegranates. 
Seasonings~ oil and honey. 
What a marvelous bounty awaited us as we ventured in from the desert! 

These Seven Species~Shiv'at HaMinim~ were the only produce that had value in being offered as the first fruit in the Temple on Shavot (The Feast of Weeks). They were not only superb for nutrition and healing but also for beauty. They were used on coins and religious worship items.
The Seven Species have always symbolized the close relationship between the Bible  and the Land of Israel. 
Today The 2 Spies want to share a favorite salad of ours that incorporates all 7 of these fruits of the Land. Another plus at living here. Enjoy! 
(the original recipe was published in the Jerusalem Post many years ago)
 Seven Species Salad
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (more if needed)
1 large onion, chopped
3/4 cup pearl barley
1-3/4 - 2 cups vegetable broth
salt & pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dried za'atar (or dried thyme)
3/4 cup medium bulgur wheat
1/3 cup dried figs, cut into thin slices
1/4 to 1/3 cup raisins
2 teaspoons pomegranate paste (or seeds if in season)
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2-3 small cucumbers, diced
1/3 cup pitted black olives, halved
1/2-3/4 cup crumbled feta or diced goat cheese
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large, heavy saucepan. Add onion and saute over medium heat, stirring often for five minutes or until softened but not brown.
Remove half of onion and set aside.  Add barley to pan and saute, stirring, 1 minute. Add 1-3/4 cups broth, salt, pepper and za'atar and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat for 40 minutes or until barley is tender, adding more broth if liquid evaporates before barley is cooked. 
Spoon reserved onion into another saucepan and heat it. Add bulgur wheat and saute, stirring for 2 minutes. Add 1-1/2 cups water, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Add figs and raisins, cover and cook for 5 more minutes or until water is absorbed and bulger and fruit are tender.  Fluff barley with a fork. Lightly fold in bulgur wheat mixture.  Cool to room temperature.  For dressing, whisk pomegranate paste with vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. Add remaining oil.  Fold into barley mixture. Add green onions, parsley, cucumbers and half the olives.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Serve topped with remaining olives, cheese and almonds.  Makes 6-8 servings.
Note: We have never used pomegranate and it tastes just fine without it.

1 comment:

  1. December 10th 2010 (20)

    Let us eat more slowly:

    I still look back with affection on those times, when a child, I was bought a pomegranate for I new that a question faced me. With every pomegranate came the same question. Was I to delicately pierce each of it's red seeds with a pin to eat, a task that would take me fully 90 minutes or simply attempt to eat the luscious contents of the fruit in double-quick time by delving into it, using only my lips and teeth. Though the latter method was messy and enjoyable it was also sadly quick.

    As I look back now on those days, with family around me, perhaps I should have more often taken the delicate path in consuming the fruit. Time (or rather God) has taught me that in haste we focus more on self satisfaction; whereas when a more leisurely pace is adopted we can far better savour the contents and it's Provider.

    As we acknowledge the seven species in the land, let us never forget who it is, who has so richly provided for us.

    "Then God said, 'Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.' And it was so." [Gen 1:11]

    Steve Perry UK <><


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