Fun with Pomegranates
The Urb’n’Spice Confident Kitchen Series
What is the best way to eat and/or use a pomegranate? I have heard many versions and most people talk about struggling to get to the juicy gems (called arils) well hidden inside the dry pithy fruit. I thought it might be a great idea to tell you about one of the easiest (and neater) ways of tackling this unusual fruit.
A beautiful pomegranate
Did you know that Pomegranates are considered a Super Food? They have sources of Vitamins A, D and B-12, and Calcium, Protein, Potassium and fiber, as well as being a powerful antioxidant. And, they are delicious!
CHEF TALK : The two common methods of extracting the arils from the pomegranate is to score the outside of the pomegranate as shown in the first photo. Pry the fruit in half. Using a medium to Largesize bowl, hold the pomegranate half (or pieces) over the bowl and use the back of a wooden spoon to tap firmly against the fruit and the arils will fall into the bowl.
The second method, which is a technique that I prefer, is as follows. If you try this technique, you will have a minimum of pink speckles all over your kitchen (and little faces if your children or grandchildren are helping you).
Ok, then! Here is your “How-To:”
With a small paring knife, score carefully, cutting shallowly around the outside of the pomegranate without damaging the seeds within. Pry it apart with your fingers and tear it into manageable pieces. Drop the pieces into a bowl of cool water.
Scoring the outside rind of the Pomegranate
The Pomegranate pieces float in a bowl of cool water. The arils will drop to the bottom of the bowl.
Pomegranate pieces float in a bowl of cool water.
When you look at the pieces as shown below, you will easily be able to remove the seeds that are clinging tightly to the peel. The seeds drop down into the bowl and the peel and pith float to the top. Aren’t they gorgeous?
Pomegranate Arils clinging to the peel
And this is what you end up with – lovely handfuls of fresh (and undamaged) pomegranate arils. Do they remind you of lovely little rubies!
Lovely handfuls of pomegranate arils
Okay, now that you have all released from the pomegranate peel, drain the bowl of water and lay the arils on a towel lined baking sheet to dry out a bit. Then, place them in a container and refrigerate to use within a few days or for longer storage, place the arils into a zipper bag and freeze them for future use. CHEF TIP: Fold a piece of paper towel into quarters and place it inside the zipper bag to absorb any lingering moisture.
One wonderful way to use pomegranate seeds is in a fresh salad such as the salad shown in the photo below. This is a lovely salad from chiffonade of spinach, supreme of oranges, goat cheese crumbles, and a garnish of pomegranate seeds. A poppy seed dressing is lovely as a dressing and compliments the citrus, goat cheese and pomegranate seeds extremely well.
Pomegranate Seeds used in a Fresh Salad
Another way that we love to use pomegranate seeds is in Cauliflower Tabbouleh. This version as shown in the photo below has sweet potato, diced 1/4 inch and pan roasted in a bit of olive oil. Season the sweet potato well and let cool slightly. Add to the cauliflower mixture. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. This particular version has finely shredded mint and parsley, and crushed pistachio. It is a variation on Jamie Oliver’s recipe using brown rice in his SuperFoods book. Enjoy! I made the recipe into version that was gluten free, grain free, and dairy free because of guests dietary restrictions.
A lovely garnish of pomegranate seeds on a bed of cauliflower tabbouleh
You can also view this quickly on Facebook (including a little video) by clicking on the screen below and scrolling to the right. Hope you enjoy visiting my page. Please LIKE if you do!
LEARNING TIPS: chiffonade, pomegranate techniques