Rocca salad

Rocca salad

If you are looking for a tasty side dish to complement some of the heartier dishes in your iftar meal, look no further than this rocca salad with feta cheese, walnuts, avocado, and pomegranate. Rocca salad is a traditional Middle Eastern salad that is both colourful, decorative, and bursting with Middle Eastern flavours highlighted by a balsamic vinegar and pomegranate vinaigrette.


  • Add rocket and pomegranate seeds to a bowl.
  • Cut avocado into small cubes and coat with lemon juice.
  • Chop walnuts. Add the nuts and avocado to the bowl followed by feta cheese.
  • In a small bowl, combine balsamic vinegar, olive oil, pomegranate molasses, salt, and pepper. Pour the dressing over the rocca salad and serve.

Ruby-red pomegranate seeds are beautiful to look at and fun to eat. However, they can be a bit tricky to remove from the fruit's hard and shiny exterior. Before cutting it, roll it across the countertop and apply a bit of pressure to help release the seeds. Use a knife to score around the pomegranate's middle so you can tear it open without cutting into the seeds themselves. In turn, hold each half over a bowl and use a wooden spoon to knock out the seeds as you squeeze it gently to help them along. Using this method to remove the pomegranate seeds should make it possible to avoid getting any pith into the bowl.

Questions about rocca salad

Rocca salad is a tasty accompaniment to many main iftar courses, and fortunately, it is incredibly quick and easy to make. Read on and learn more about this arugula salad with feta and walnut below.

What is rocca salad?
Rocca salad may refer to both the lettuce leaves themselves as well as this specific dish. Traditional rocca salad recipes call for rocket, pomegranate seeds, and fresh, toasted, or candied walnuts. It is usually served with a pomegranate or lemon vinaigrette and may feature feta or goat cheese. Sometimes other vegetables like cucumber, onion, and tomato are also used to make it more filling.
How to make rocca salad?
A traditional rocca salad with pomegranates and walnuts makes for a tasty and colourful side dish. Making arugula salad with feta is wonderfully simple. After de-seeding the pomegranates, add the ruby-red seeds and rocket to a decorative serving bowl. Then add chopped walnuts, lemon-juice-covered avocado bites and cubed feta cheese. Prepare the homemade vinaigrette with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and pomegranate molasses. Season it with salt and pepper, pour it over the salad, and serve.
How to make rocca salad dressing?
Making a vibrant dressing for rocca salad is incredibly easy. Simply combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and pomegranate molasses and season to taste with salt and freshly churned pepper. The sour-sweet taste of the molasses makes the thick vinaigrette bright and colourful. Its richness and complex sweet flavour make it perfect for arugula salad with pomegranate, which features both peppery, salty, and nutty flavours and, of course, fresh pomegranate seeds that go deliciously with pomegranate molasses.
What is pomegranate molasses for rocca salad?
Pomegranate molasses, which is also known as pomegranate concentrate, is made by reducing the fruit's juice into a thick, dark sauce. By boiling the juice, the sweet and sour flavours are intensified. Though it has many different uses, it works wonderfully in rich dressings and marinades, and it is particularly popular with a Middle Eastern rocca salad with pomegranate. As such, it is a great addition to the balsamic vinegar-based vinaigrette used to drizzle this rocca salad.


Feta, cubed
200 g
Pomegranate seeds
175 g
Chopped walnuts
100 g
Lemon juice
2 tbsp
Balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp
Olive oil
2 tbsp
Pomegranate molasses
1 tbsp
Black pepper

Traditional rocca salad with pomegranate and walnuts

A classic rocca salad, which is a traditional Middle Eastern arugula salad with pomegranate and walnuts coated in pomegranate molasses and balsamic vinegar dressing, is great as a side dish for Ramadan. The colourful dish tastes delicious with main courses featuring lamb, beef, and chicken, such as our creamy chicken, cheese chicken kofta, or potato kibbeh with lamb.

The many different textures – from soft avocado and crumbly feta to crispy arugula, crunchy walnuts, and juicy pomegranate seeds – make it fun to eat and will make you want to savour it again and again.

Delicious peppery rocca flavour and sweet pomegranate

Rocket, arugula, rocca, no matter what you call the zingy leafy green, it will taste equally delicious. Unlike other kinds of leafy greens, its taste is quite sharp and insistent. The distinctive aroma and spicy quality it possesses make it well-suited to perk up salads and make them a more prominent part of a meal.

Arugula's peppery, mustard-like flavour is beautifully complemented by the nuttiness of the walnuts, the sweetness of the pomegranate seeds, and the richness of the homemade vinaigrette. The succulent jewel-like red seeds release wonderful bursts of freshness when you bite into them. And, to get more out of their flavour, their juice can be cooked down into pomegranate molasses like the one used to add sweetness to the vinaigrette and brightens its richness.

A twist to a classic with added feta

Feta cheese is a wonderful addition to a wealth of salads and this arugula salad with pomegranate and walnut is no exception. Its signature soft, crumbly texture and salty flavour complement the peppery arugula and the salad’s other delicious tastes and textures perfectly. Due to the brine in which it is marinated, feta cheese gains a distinctly tangy taste. This slight sharpness works well with the creamy avocado, flavourful arugula, as well as sweet pomegranate seeds.

If you enjoy the saltiness and softness the white cheese brings to this arugula and feta salad, we suggest you check out our recipes for roasted vegetable and feta quinoa salad and chicken Caesar salad with feta cheese as well.

Make the classic Middle Eastern rocca salad dressing

While arugula and balsamic vinegar is a classic combination in many countries, the rocca salad dressing has a decidedly Middle Eastern flavour profile. The rich, tart balsamic vinegar has an underlying sweetness that the pomegranate molasses, which is sweet and a little bit sour, brings out. Combining these two ingredients with olive oil makes for a thick and flavourful dressing with an earthy aroma, and the pomegranate molasses makes this a dressing you will not often find for salads but which is perfect for a Middle Eastern salad like this.

Add your own touch

If you have a bit of time when preparing the arugula salad with pomegranate and walnuts, you can toast the nuts to enhance their flavour. You can either roast them in the oven for 7-10 minutes at 175°C or in a saucepan at medium heat for 2-5 minutes. If you want to experiment with seasoning the toasted walnuts with herbs, spices, or sugar, toast them in olive oil or melted butter. Try herbaceous, piney rosemary, fresh lemon, mint, garlic, or sugared options to find your favourite seasoning.