Pomegranates

pomegranates

From the outside, pomegranates look a bit like an orange with a little crown on top. Cut them open however and you will find hundreds of juicy jelly-like seeds held together by yellow pith. Ancient beliefs that pomegranates are good for health are proving to be true, thanks to their extraordinarily high antioxidant content.

IN THE KITCHEN

Pomegranates are fairly hard work to eat raw and the pith is unpalatably astringent, so it is important to remove it all. Their main use is as a garnish, although a bowl of pomegranate seeds sprinkled with rosewater and sugar and scattered with toasted almond flakes makes a refreshing dessert.

Scatter the seeds over yogurt, cereals, rice pudding, baba ganoush, or pilafs. Try adding them to a salad of green olives, toasted walnuts, onion and parsley. The tangy flavour works with fish, lamb and poultry too. Alternatively, extract the juice to make drinks or granitas and sorbets. The juice can also be used in place of lemon or vinegar in salad dressings.

VARIETIES

The leathery skin ranges in colour from pearly prink to bright red. Generally larger pomegranates will have a sweeter, more developed flavour. Sweet varieties are suitable for eating raw, sour ones (if you find them) should be saved for cooking. Choose fruit that feel heavy for their size.