Pomegranates

 


I love pomegranates – their deep raspberry hue and delicate crown adds a touch of natural beauty and an easy punch of color to so many different things.  I will pile them in a bowl to make an informal centerpiece for our dinner table, or tuck them into the green cedar garland on our Christmas mantel. For me, the pomegranate’s color, shape, and fragrance scream “holiday” without beating you over the head with a pine tree and a cinnamon stick. On top of my love for them in décor, we also love to eat them. I have fond memories with my sister Patricia and I as teenagers dividing one between us and snacking together. Of course, our mother cast us out to the backyard where we wound up with our hands completely stained, which sadly, meant that our favorite candy striped Dolfin shorts were ruined forever!

But today I have some amazing friends in the food world who have set me straight. My good friend, Cat Cora, taught me this fantastic tip for easy pomegranate seed removal – stain free!  Save the Dolfins — Marcia Brady would be proud.

This method is so easy, that I will usually have my lovely kitchen “assistant” (cut to my six-year-old daughter) do it for me.  She is a great help in the kitchen and definitely enjoys reaping the benefits from this pomegranate project, the mound of tasty arils, that end up in her lunch box and scattered on numerous dishes (from savory to sweet) at our house.

I hosted a luncheon last week, and we sprinkled pomegranate arils on both the entrée and the cheese plate. They can add just the right touch of acidity, crunch, and color to so many different dishes. In our mild Santa Barbara climate, pomegranates really bring a touch of winter flavor. Some specialty stores carry pomegranate arils ready to eat, but it is really worth it to harvest your own.  As with most things, pre-packaged arils just never seem to taste as good or fresh as home-done.

Pomegranate seed removal directions

Fill a large, clean bowl with water.  Next, score the pomegranate skin with a knife in quarters, gently pull apart the sections, and place in the bowl.

Simply work the seeds out of the segments in the water with your fingertips.

The white pithy part rises to the top and the arils will go to the bottom.

Discard the white part floating on the top andstrain the arils in a mesh collider.

Store in an airtight container until ready to use.  They will keep in the fridge for a good week.

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