pom. we've all heard of the drink but how many of us could actually pick a pomegranate out of a fruit line up? and even if you could, do you know of the surprise that lies beneath that waxy red skin? for those of you who have never seen, eaten or cooked with pomegranate, you're missing out on some serious fruit fun (and healthy antioxidants too). add it to your grocery list, and i promise you'll fall in love with the textures and tartness of this fruit. but i warn you: this fruit is not about instant gratification. it takes a bit of work to extract the flesh and flavors of the pomegranate but with the simple how-to steps below, you'll be a pom expert in no time.
an introduction to the pomegranate:
does this fruit look familiar to you?
you may have passed this unidentified object a dozen times at your local farmers market or grocery store but never stopped to ask, "what is this?" well, let me introduce you. "pomegranate, meet a soon-to-be fan of yours." "soon-to-be fan, meet the pomegranate."
now that we've gotten introductions out of the way, let's get to the good stuff: what lies beneath. wait, you can't just take a bite! this is no simple apple or pear we're dealing with. begin by slicing the fruit in half.
now you probably didn't expect to find that, eh? hundreds of ruby red seeds holding sweet-sweet-tartness but how are we ever going to get all those seeds out? some people suggest knocking a wooden spoon against the skin. i find this method to be absolutely slow and painful. at this point, i treat the pomegranate like a citrus fruit that i'm dejuicing. holding the pomegranate seed side down over a deep container of some sort - a large 4 cup pyrex measuring cup is perfect - to prevent splashing, i squeeze the seeds out, as if you were squeezing a lemon or an orange. not all the seeds will come out from squeezing and this is when you'll have to perform a little bit of fruit surgery.
break open the remaining parts of the pomegranate like i've done above and remove the remaining seeds with your hands. now you've got a bowl or measuring cup full of seeds and juice. remove any of the white membrane that might have gotten loose with the seeds. depending what you're making, you might want to reserve some seeds for garnish. otherwise, throw the whole bowl into a food processor and process until all the seeds have been broken down. poor the mixture through a sieve to remove the seeds. you now have pomegranate juice to use in your pom-tini, vinaigrette, sauce or perhaps even as a substitute for thanksgiving's cranberry sauce (your relatives and friends will think you're soooo cool). so what are you waiting for?
next blog post: my favorite pomegranate recipe.
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