December 20, 2007

The pickup: Pomegranates, those leathery crimson orbs encasing a hive of jewels. They’re seedy little treats, tart and juicy. Come winter, I’m grateful for the variety they offer when I’m beginning to tire of apples and pears and I’ve overdosed on citrus fruits. As a kid I loved packing a half-pomegranate in my lunch, a piece of exotica next to the salami sandwich and dill pickle.

The results: Wrangling pomegranates is a messy (and clothing-staining) business; you can avoid stains by plunging pomegranate halves into a bowl of water and picking out the seeds under water. But I love seeding pomegranates over a plate; it means that, so long as I’m not sharing, I can lick my fingers as I go.

If I’m not going to just eat the seeds as a snack, I’ll toss them into a salad, or scatter them over couscous. And crushed pomegranates, of course, yield a delicious juice.

Pomegranate cocktails, once unique, are almost ubiquitous now. This has more to do with the popularity and availability of pomegranate products — juice, molasses, etc. You can squeeze your own juice at home: Roll a whole pomegranate around on a countertop to break up the enclosed seeds. Cut the fruit in half, place a piece of cheesecloth over the cut side, and squeeze the juice into a measuring cup.

For a delicious fresh cocktail, mix together the extracted pomegranate juice with the juice of an orange or tangerine, a tablespoon or two of agave nectar, and a shot of vodka. Pour this into a shaker with ice; shake, then empty into a martini glass.

There are 4 comments on this item
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1. by Kelly Myers on Dec 31, 2007 at 12:37 PM PST

A quick way to remove the seeds: cut the pomegranate in half along its equator. Hold the cut side over a deep, large bowl and whack its exterior all over with a wooden spoon. The seeds will easily fall into the bowl.
(The bowl should be big enough to catch the spray of staining juices.)

2. by DawnHeather Simmons on Apr 14, 2009 at 5:42 AM PDT

okay, so this is probably weird, but my favorite way to do pomegranates is while I’m in the bathtub, so I don’t have to share, and I can rinse the staining juices off my hands as I go along... of course, I’ve showered FIRST, so I’m clean, and the water is clean, and I’m just reveling in the steamy air and the lovely pomegranate celebration of life...

3. by Kim on Apr 14, 2009 at 11:26 AM PDT

DawnHeather: What a great idea! I hope I remember it late next fall when pomegranate season rolls around.

4. by Kathy on Mar 21, 2014 at 8:02 AM PDT

Do you eat the seeds? I had always bitten them for the juice and spit the seeds out. Makes it quite time consuming to be satisfied with them.

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