It’s pomegranate season (November 30th is National Pomegranate Day)—perfect timing for adding shiny red garnish to holiday dishes.
But there’s no need to limit their use to the holidays: Bags of pomegranate arils (seeds) are available year-round. There’s nothing quite like those tart, crunchy, ruby-hued seeds that spill forth from their crimson shells, bursting with tang and brightening up your mouth like drops of sunshine.
But beyond garnishing (and our poetic musings), there’s more versatility to this fruit than you may think. Try some of these:
Pomegranate Arils In Condiments
1. Pomegranate Gastrique For Sweet & Savory Dishes
A gastrique is a fruit-based sauce, and it’s easy to make.
In a saucepan over medium-low heat, combine 2 cups pomegranate arils, 3 tablespoons sugar, 3 tablespoons rosé wine (or white or red, if you don’t have rosé, 3 tablespoons champagne vinegar and a pinch of salt.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Purée if desired.
You will have a sweet and tangy sauce that you can drizzle on fish, meat, poultry, sorbet or anything that needs a fruity kick.
Turkey with a pomegranate gastrique. Photo courtesy Pom Wonderful. Get the recipe.
2. Pomegranate Marinade For Color
The next time you prepare a marinade for your favorite meat or fish, substitute the vinegar or other acid for the same amount of pomegranate arils.
Crush the arils first to release some juice, as well as the texture. As with any recipe adaptation, taste the marinade to adjust for bit more pomegranate or salt as necessary.
Pomegranate arils are the perfect size to use as a key ingredient in a relish. Add them to any relish to create a superb topping for fish, meat and grains. Go Mediterranean with equal parts pomegranate arils, pine nuts, and feta cheese and a few tablespoons of chopped mint. For a summer recipe, try equal parts pomegranate arils, fresh corn kernels, toasted pecan pieces and chopped basil. The only limit to combining ingredients is your imagination
Cranberry relish with pomegranate arils. Photo courtesy Pom Wonderful. Get the recipe.
4. Pomegranate “Bowl”
Even the rind of a pomegranate can be put to good use.
Begin by cutting your pomegranate in half horizontally (nubs facing up or down).
Remove the arils and most of the pith. Reserve the arils for any number of the aforementioned uses and discard the pith.
This leaves you with a rustic, but beautiful, “bowl.” Feel free to put the arils in the bowl for serving; or use the bowl for nuts, dried fruits, condiments or anything else. Place the nuts and dried fruits on a cheese board, fruit plate or other serving platter. You can put the empty “bowls” in the freezer to save up enough to serve individual chicken salad cups, stuffing, and so forth.
You’ll enjoy ideal tool for parties and entertaining, especially around the holidays, and adds a rustic, seasonal touch to a cheese board, fruit plate, or other decorative serving platter. Consider tilting the bowl on its side, spilling its contents onto a wood block or plate like a bountiful cornucopia.