How to use pomegranate in the kitchen
Thought to be one of the oldest fruit trees under cultivation, the pomegranate (Punica granatum) is native to Iran and Afghanistan and has naturalised throughout the Mediterranean region.
It’s a showy plant, featuring glossy green leaves that turn yellow in the autumn and bearing large scarlet flowers in spring and summer.
The beautiful red-skinned fruit ripens in autumn and remains on the tree after the leaves have fallen.
Cut a fruit in half and you’ll see the membranous white-walled sections, each filled with seeds surrounded by juice sacs, known as arils.
In the kitchen
With their sweet-tart flavour, pomegranate seeds can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes.
· Sprinkle on cereal
· Top pancakes or waffles with maple syrup and seeds.
· Use to make bruschetta. Spread goat’s cheese on toasted bread, then top with pomegranate seeds and a little parsley.
· Make a salsa with pomegranate seeds, avocado, kiwifruit, chilli and coriander, and serve on meat or fish.
· Team with duck, chicken and lamb.
· Mix with other fruit for a smoothie.
· Sprinkle over vanilla ice-cream, sorbet or yoghurt.
· Toss into a mixed-berry fruit salad.
· Add a few arils to a glass of your favourite sparkling wine.
Fresh tuna steaks are pan-fried and served with a crisp salad of parsley, wild rocket, pear, pomegranate seeds and toasted pine nuts – a perfect accompaniment to the fish.
Roasting cauliflower with a sprinkling of spices is easy, and gives a lovely nutty flavour. Pomegranate, mint and a yogurt dressing add Middle Eastern flavours, good for a light lunch.