Pomegranate Salsa

INGREDIENTS:

5 large pomegranates, seeded
5 large oranges, peeled and trimmed into segments
1/3 cup fresh cilantro chopped
5 green onions, ends trimmed thinly sliced
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
3-4 tablespoons fresh jalapeno chili minced, seeded
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

METHOD:

Break pomegranate into large chunks. Immerse chunks in a bowl of water and break apart to release seeds. Discard membrane and skin. Drain seeds; pat dry.

Cut orange segments into chunks and place in mixing bowl. Add pomegranate seeds, and the remaining ingredients. Adjust seasoning. Serve or cover and chill until the next day.

Serve with grilled fish or with tortilla chips.

Yield: 12 servings

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Peppery Pomegranate Sauce

Butternut-squash-ravioli-pomegranate-sauceOur farmers market is lucky to have our own fresh pasta vendor — Pensi Pasta Company. Evette offers a delicious assortment of raviolis with flavorful fillings. Pomegranates and fresh pomegranate juice is available from Rancho Padre Farm.

INGREDIENTS:
Peppered Pomegranate Sauce
2 cups pomegranate juice
1 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon toasted, crushed black peppercorns

Butternut Squash Ravioli
1/4 cup pomegranate juice
12 medium butternut squash raviolis
4 slices Italian prosciutto, each cut lengthwise into 3 strips
4 medium black mission figs, peeled and split
1/4 cup sherry
Pinch sugar
2 oz. crumbled soft goat cheese log
1/4 cup port wine
1 tablespoon shallot, finely chopped
3 oz. butter, cold, diced
1 oz. Italian parsley
1/2 cup pomegranate arils

METHOD:
Pomegranate Sauce
In a small saucepan, combine light brown sugar and toasted, crushed black peppercorn with pomegranate juice in a small saucepan. Reduce slowly over low heat until it is the consistency of syrup (about 30 to 45 minutes). Strain, and allow to cool to room temperature.

Butternut Squash Ravioli
Toss peeled and split figs with the sherry and sugar.

Cook raviolis in salted boiling water; drain. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Melt the butter in the pan, quickly sauté raviolis. Remove raviolis from the pan, and set aside.

Add the shallots and figs to the pan. Sauté for a minute. Add the pomegranate juice and port. Sauté for another minute or two.

Place three raviolis onto each plate along with two fig halves and three strips of prosciutto between the raviolis. Crumble goat cheese equally onto each plate. Drizzle pomegranate sauce over raviolis as desired. Garnish each plate with Italian parsley and fresh pomegranate arils.

YIELD: 4 servings

SOURCE: Recipe courtesy of pomegranate.org

Goat Cheese Brûlée, Baby Greens and Pomegranate Orange Vinaigrette

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An elegant, show-stopper salad perfect for holiday dinners!

INGREDIENTS:
Pomegranate Orange Vinaigrette
2 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1 large shallot finely diced
1/2 cup raw, organic honey
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 3/4 cups blended oil (light olive oil blended with vegetable oil)  
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Goat Cheese Brûlée
1 lb. goat cheese
4 slices loaf brioche
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Salad
1 ½ lbs. baby greens
16 pieces grapefruit segments
16 pieces orange segments
1/4 cup pomegranate arils, garnish

 METHOD:
Pomegranate Orange Vinaigrette
Combine pomegranate juice and orange juice in a small saucepan and reduce over low heat to 3/4 cup.

Lightly sauté the finely diced shallot till translucent and soft.

Add the pomegranate-orange reduction to the sautéd shallot, and let it simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove the reduction from heat, and allow it to cool.

Add the honey, Dijon mustard, and red wine vinegar to the reduction. Slowly whisk in the oil and season to taste.

Unused vinaigrette can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Goat Cheese Brûlée
Beat the goat cheese in an electric mixer until soft. Cut the brioche slices diagonally, and toast lightly. Spread softened goat cheese on toasted brioche triangles, and sprinkle with sugar.

Using a cooking torch, lightly caramelize the sugar to a golden brown. You can also place them under the broiler to get the same effect.

Assemble salad
Toss the baby greens with 1/4 cup pomegranate vinaigrette. Arrange greens on eight salad plates with citrus segments and fresh pomegranate arils as garnish. Place goat cheese brûlée on top of the salad.

YIELD: Makes 8 servings

SOURCE: Recipe courtesy of Pomegranate.org

Fall Pomegranate Compote

This tangy relish is a tasty alternative to overly-sweet cranberry sauce at the Thanksgiving table.

INGREDIENTS:
2 medium pomegranates, seeded, about 1 ½ cups
1 tablespoon finely chopped orange zest
1 tablespoon orange juice
1/2 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon salt

METHOD:
In a small mixing bowl, gently combine pomegranate arils and remaining ingredients.

YIELD: Makes 1 ½ cups

SOURCE: Recipe courtesy of Pomegranate.org

Spicy Pomegranate Relish

Versatile! Use as a relish with pork, lamb, chicken or turkey — or serve as a fresh salsa with corn chips!

INGREDIENTS:
2 medium pomegranates, seeded (about 1 ½ cups arils)
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped, green jalapeno pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

METHOD:
In a small mixing bowl, gently combine pomegranate arils and remaining ingredients.

YIELD: Makes 1 ½ cups

SOURCE: Recipe courtesy of Pomegranate.org

Pomegranate — The Original Forbidden Fruit

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Pomegranate – The Original Forbidden Fruit

The name “pomegranate” derives from Latin pomum (‘apple’) and granatus (‘seeded’). Jewish scholars believe that the pomegranate was the original “forbidden fruit” of the Garden of Eden. The pomegranate has been a prominent symbol in many religions and cultures since Biblical times, when Moses promised his followers that they would find the fruit in the Promised Land, to the 18th century, when Spanish sailors introduced it to the southern United States. Cultivated since ancient times, the pomegranate is native to the region from Iran to northern India. The pomegranate is now cultivated widely in California and Arizona for juice production.

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How to Seed a Pomegranate

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Pomegranates are high in antioxidants and pack a strong, tangy flavor, but how in the world do you open them without making a mess? Learn how to open pomegranates, and also how to make juice from the ruby-red seeds inside.

Open and Score the Pomegranate
First cut off the top of the pomegranate. With a spoon or ice cream scoop, gently take out some of the center core. Be careful not to disturb the seeds. Next, use your knife to score the outer rind around the fruit. Put your thumbs in the center and gently pull apart the sections. Peel away some of the white skin. You may be able to remove pieces from the rind.

Separate Seeds in Water
To easily remove the seeds, place the pieces of pomegranate into a large bowl of cold water. Now when you go to remove the seeds, they’ll come right out. The seeds will sink to the bottom of the bowl. With the sieve, remove the skin floating on top. When the skin is gone, take out the seeds.

Juice the Pomegranate Seeds
You can eat the seeds just as they are. If you want to make pomegranate juice, you can throw the seeds in a blender. Or for a quick and fun way, you can also place them into a plastic freezer bag. Remove most of the air, seal the zipper, and use a rolling pin to break the seeds. You can see that there s quite a bit of juice for just some of the seeds. Cut a very small corner off of the bag and squeeze the juice into a glass for a very fresh drink.

SOURCE: Article and video courtesy of food.about.com

How to Make Pomegranate Molasses

Tangy pomegranate molasses is an easy to make magical ingredient that adds a spark of acidity and a complex depth of flavor to salad dressings, stews, dipping sauces and marinades much like wine does for many dishes. Consider adding it to cocktails or mocktails — just stir into sparkling water. Use pomegranate molasses as a meat glaze and brush it onto chicken, lamb or pork during the last few minutes of roasting. Drizzle it over fall roasted vegetables for added flavor dimension.

INGREDIENTS:

4 cups fresh pomegranate juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

METHOD:

In a medium saucepan, whisk together pomegranate juice, sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat immediately, keeping heat just high enough to maintain a simmer. Reduce until a very thick liquid forms that coast the back of a spoon, about 1 hour. Remove from heat, and cool to room temperature.

Place in a bottle and keep refrigerated.

Garbanzo Salad with Pomegranate Seed

This colorful, healthy salad traces its origins to Pakistan and India. We especially enjoy it as a main-course summer salad, sometimes adding diced mango or sweet summer tomatoes.

INGREDIENTS:

1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 cup pomegranate seeds
2 cans (15 oz. each) garbanzos, rinsed and drained
1 cup peeled, diced (1/2’cubes) cucumber
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
Optional: 1 cup diced mango
Salt and pepper

METHOD:

In a small frying pan over low heat, stir cumin until fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape cumin into a large bowl and add lime juice, sugar, chopped cilantro, and cayenne.

Add pomegranate seeds, garbanzos, cucumber, and onion to bowl. Mix and add salt and pepper to taste.

Shrimp Cocktail with Persimmon Pomegranate Salsa

This is a brightly colored and flavored shrimp cocktail that uses an autumnal fruit salsa instead of standard cocktail sauce. The jewel-like colors make it perfect for holiday tables, and the bright flavors go well with celebratory champagne. If you want to really pull out the stops, substitute or add chunks of cooked and chilled lobster meat.

INGREDIENTS:

Salsa
½ cup pomegranate seeds
½ cup Fuyu persimmon, diced the size of pomegranate seeds
½ cup Mutsu or Golden Delicious apple, diced as above
½ cup pear-apple (optional), diced as above
1 heaping tablespoon finely diced shallot
1 teaspoon rice vinegar, or as needed
1 tablespoon orange juice, or as needed
½ tablespoon finely shredded shiso, mint, cilantro, or a combination (optional)

Shrimp Cocktail
1½ pounds 26-30 size shrimp, cooked, peeled and cleaned, chilled
1 cup avocado, cut into ½ inch dice
2 tablespoons tobiko*
8-16 chives, cut into 3-inch pieces from tip down (reserve the rest for another use)

METHOD:

For the salsa:
Mix all ingredients except the liquids and herbs and gently toss well to mix. Drizzle the liquids over all and toss to coat. Taste. If needed, adjust flavors with vinegar and/or orange juice. If using the herbs, scatter over the salsa and gently mix in just before use.

For the shrimp cocktail:
In a large, wide, non-reactive bowl, mix the shrimp with the salsa, turning gently. Scatter the avocado over the bowl and gently fold in. Place a scoop of shrimp-salsa mixture into four wine or martini glasses (or small shallow bowls). Scatter tobiko over each cocktail, and then place 2 chive tips upright in a “V” on the front of the salad. Serve cold with chives facing each guest.

*Tobiko is flying fish roe as used at sushi bars. It is available in Asian markets and some grocery stores. It is the perfect size and texture for this dish — it’s the size of a pin-head that pops. Do not attempt to use ikura or masago (salmon and smelt, respectively) as they are either too big and salty. If you cannot find it, the dish will not suffer for its lack.

YIELD: This recipe makes 4 large cocktails or 8 small starters.