Have you noticed pomegranates are starting to pop up here, there and everywhere?
But are they something you tend to pass right by? Believe me, that was my tendency for years. They just seemed too fussy to me. The whole de-seeding thing was intimidating and definitely not something I would do for everyday occasions. On top of that, I didn’t know what kind of recipes to use them in.
Everything changed, as far as pomegranates go, a few years ago when I discovered a unbelievable easy way to de-seed a pom – get this, in just a minute or two! You could say that pomegranates and I became fast friends – these days, when I see a beautiful, mounded display of the red orbs at the market, with a sign that says “Pomegranates – 10 for $10″, I start jumping up and down (don’t worry, if you’re shopping with me, I’m jumping on the inside). And if you check out The Café archives for pomegranate recipes, you’ll see that I use them for salads, sides, salsas, cheeseballs, appetizers and all sorts of other things. I’m a changed woman!
Pomegranate arils are super healthy (they’re loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants) and, on top of that, their ruby red, jeweled appearance makes a simply gorgeous presentation. I thought I’d share a few of our favorite ways to use this delightful fruit, as well as the simple technique that forever changed my attitude toward pomegranates. I’m calling it, Five Favorite Recipes to Celebrate Pomegranate Season. Are you ready?
The Easy Way to Remove Pomegranate Seeds – first of all, the crazy easy technique. I was so taken with this method that I did a picture tutorial post so other’s could enjoy pomegranates as much as we do these days. I’ve gotten lots of response from readers who can’t believe it could be so simple.
Pomegranate, Parsley and Pecan Cheeseball – light, fresh and fun – with a smidgen of garlic, a bit of fine lemon zest and lots of fresh herbs. It’s gorgeous too and tends to make jaws drop!
Honey Maple Roasted Carrots – these are like candy, everyone always wants second helpings! This recipe definitely transforms everyday carrots into something spectacular! I have a feeling they will be a shining star on lots of Thanksgiving tables this year, as they’ve been popular on all sorts of websites and were featured on Today.com and in Relish Magazine (found in many Sunday newspapers across the US).
Pear and Pomegranate Salsa – a seasonal favorite that will be sure to bring ooohs and ahhhhs for it’s taste and beautiful appearance. Great for an appetizer or spooned over pan-seared salmon.
Arugula, Pear and Pom Salad – a fabulous fresh salad with fresh pears, pomegranate arils and juicy red grapes. A poppy seed and apple cider dressing is the perfect pairing!
Cranberry and Pomegranate Bruschetta – This bright, fresh healthy appetizer makes a delightful bruschetta but there are tons of other delicious ways to use it – check it out! One reader wrote and described how when she tasted the cranberry pomegranate topping, she loved it so much, she ate most of it before it ever got to the bruschetta!
So there you have it, some of our favorite pomegranate recipes. With the season just starting, I’m sure there will be new ones rolling out here at The Café in the weeks ahead. I can’t seem to keep my hands off of them. And you won’t want to keep your hands off them either, once you try the simple deseeding trick, so be sure to throw a few in your cart next time you’re at the market!
P.S. Oh, and just a few things about buying and cooking with pomegranates:
Although you can find them all year long, they are frightfully expensive and not at their optimum off season. They’re typically at their prime, starting in October and continuing through February. When selecting pomegranates, look for a ripe, deep-colored fruit with a red to reddish-brown outward appearance. Pick them up and hold them in your hand. You’re looking for ones that are heavy for their size. Early in the season, the arils (seeds) tend to be lighter, sometimes even pink, in color. As the season progresses, they become a deep, ruby red hue.
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