Pomegranates 3 Ways
Pomegranates are a winter fruit in North America. Native to regions in the Middle East, they are also grown in drier climates such as California and Arizona. During the holidays they are used in decorating - wired to wreaths to add a splash of red on pine greenery, or simply piled in a decorative bowl to show off their vibrant color.
Ina Garten, the queen of everything delicious, served a pomegranate gimlet on a recent show where she hosted a British holiday lunch for the stars of Mary Poppins and their director and producer. This easy-to-follow recipe uses pomegranate juice (Pom) to smooth out a traditional gimlet and pomegranate seeds to garnish.
Prep: 10 minutes
Yield: 6-8 servings
1 1/2 cups gin, such as Tanqueray or Bombay Sapphire
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (6 to 8 limes)
1 cup pomegranate juice, such as Pom Wonderful
1/2 cup simple syrup (see Cook's Note)
Pomegranate seeds, for garnish
6 to 8 thin, whole, round slices of lime, for garnish
At least 1 hour before serving, freeze 6 to 8 martini glasses.
Combine the gin, lime juice, pomegranate juice, and simple syrup in a large pitcher. Fill a cocktail shaker half full of ice, pour in the gimlet mixture until the shaker is 3/4 full and shake for 15 seconds. Pour into the frozen glasses and garnish each glass with a teaspoon of pomegranate seeds and a slice of lime.
For the simple syrup, combine 1 cup of sugar with 1 cup of water in a small saucepan and heat until the sugar dissolves completely. Set aside to cool or refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
Pomegranates have numerous health benefits including a good source of vitamins A, C, and E; folic acid and anti-oxidant, anti-viral, and anti-tumor properties. Fresh pomegranate seeds are sold in many produce departments but they are actually easy to extract yourself. Cut the fruit horizontally (not through the stem but around the circumference). Submerse the halves in a bowl of ice water. Using your thumbs break the pomegranate in pieces, prying apart the membrane and dropping the seeds in the water. Strain when all the seeds have been removed. These sweet seeds can be used in a simple arugula salad with pear, gorgonzola, and walnuts drizzled with an apple cider vinaigrette. Add a chicken breast and you have dinner.
Arugula Salad with Pomegranate, Pear, Gorgonzola and Walnuts
Prep: 15 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
8 cups loosely packed arugula
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
2 ripe pears
1 /3 cup walnut pieces
1/3 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
3 Tablespoons pomegranate juice
3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 /3 olive oil
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Toast walnuts in a non-stick pan for about 3-4 minutes. Set aside
Wash and dry greens
Remove seeds from pomegranate (see note above on how to easily remove seeds)
Cut pears into very thin slices (if doing ahead, toss with lemon juice to prevent browning)
Place greens, walnuts, pomegranate seeds and pears in a large serving bowl and toss together.
Make vinaigrette by combining all ingredients in a jar with a covered lid and shake well. Pour half over the salad and toss. Continue adding just enough to dress the salad as you desire
Photo source of gimlet and recipe by Ina Garten.