I’ve got a couple pomegranate trees, so each fall, when the gorgeous red fruit is ripe, we try to find new and exciting ways to use pomegranates in our cooking. But first you have to get all those seeds out of the pomegranate. This used to be tiresome and messy–until we discovered the best way to seed a pomegranate: in a bowl of water!
Cut off the crown, then score the pomegranate along the sides (but don’t cut deeply enough to go all the way through) in order to break it apart into pieces. Submerge the pomegranate in the bowl of water, then split along the scored lines. Use your fingers to push off the seeds to the bottom of the bowl. Discard the large peel pieces as you finish with them. When you are done seeding, any remaining membrane will float (as in the picture above) and is easily skimmed off. You can seed a pomegranate in less than five minutes!
Now you have lots of lovely, juicy seeds to eat or cook with. I have put them in salads or served them as a side (we always have both cranberry sauce and a bowl of pomegranate seeds with Thanksgiving dinner).
My favorite creation is a Pomegranate Chicken Salad:
13 oz. can chicken breast
2-3 green onions, diced
1/3 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing (I am just guessing here–I do it to taste; adjust as necessary)
seeds from one pomegranate
1/2 cup cashew pieces (I like a lot; you could certainly use less)
fresh ground pepper
Mix all the ingredients together and enjoy on your favorite bread or roll (crescents are especially nice!). I have served this many times now, and I always get the best comments. The pomegranate seeds are a wonderful and unexpected crunch and burst of flavor against the chicken. Yummy!
Last year we made a pretty fabulous pomegranate sorbet in our ice cream maker, so this year we thought we would try it as an ice cream. It turned out wonderful. For these kinds of recipes you need to turn your seeds into juice. We just pop them in a blender, then run the juice through a strainer.
For the ice cream we used
3/4 c pomegranate juice
juice of one small lemon
1-1/2 c powdered sugar
2 cups heavy cream
Combine the pomegranate and lemon juices, then whisk in the powdered sugar to dissolve. Add the cream and whisk for several minutes until it starts to thicken. It will be a pale pink color. Pour into the ice cream maker and run for 30 minutes. Freeze to firm up. Garnish with seeds if desired.