11 Recipes To Celebrate Pomegranate Season
Pomegranate Season Is Here
I love pomegranates and now that it is October we are heading into primo pomegranate season. In the northern hemisphere pomegranates start coming into season in late summer and continue all the way until January or February. When purchasing from a supermarket it is usually best to skip the first pomegranates of the season as they are often a little dry and lacking in flavor. Wait until the pomegranates are big and heavy and full of juice. You should be able to find plenty of great pomegranates in the market now. To learn more about pomegranates, their history, nutritional uses and how to peel and seed them click on my post.
Here Are Our Favorite Pomegranate Recipes
There is hardly a dish that doesn't get a little brighter and happier with a few pomegranates strewn on top. They make a wonderful garnish with their bright, flavorful juice sacks that pop in your mouth. Here are some of our favorite pomegranate recipes:
This phenomenal dish is based on an ancient Persian dish called Fesenjoon that was originally made from duck. My version is a one-pot, slow-cooker meal that is made with chicken thighs, onions, walnuts, pomegranates, pomegranate molasses, carrots, garlic and rosemary. It is not a dump-and-go slow-cooker recipe and takes a little upfront prep to get great flavor. The chicken needs to be seared, onions sauteed and walnuts toasted before you can push the "cook" button. On the plus side, you can make it a day in advance and simply reheat. The flavors will be all the better the next day. This is a great entertaining recipe when you want to impress, but don't want to be working after your guests arrive.
This recipe is a fusion of some of my favorite foods. I have long been a big fan of French de Puy lentils, also known as "poor man's caviar." These earthy morsels hold their shape and don't get blown out when cooked like most lentils do. While a bit of an unusual combination, De Puy lentils make a good foundation to carry traditional Middle Eastern tabbouleh ingredients: tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, mint, lemon, feta cheese and a great olive oil. I switch it up a bit with a splash of pomegranate molasses and a handful of pomegranate seeds to add a fresh pop of flavor to the earthy lentils.
My daughter Margo and I developed this recipe together. The magic of this salad is that you fry up strips of prosciutto to magnify its flavor and add a little crisp. The pears receive similar treatment and are quickly seared in the same pan as the prosciutto using the fat rendered from the prosciutto. Goat or blue cheese provides a little richness and a sprinkling of pomegranates provides freshness and pop. The result is an umami-rich Fall salad you will want to make regularly.
I promise this salad will make you a rock star. It literally takes 15 minutes to assemble, but always gets rave reviews. I start by breaking up a ball or two of fresh burrata and laying it out on a serving plate. I then build layers of Fall fruit including: Fuju persimmon slices, red and green grapes, some cherry tomatoes, pomegranate seeds and a generous sprinkling of basil, mint and toasted pecans. I dress the salad with a simple balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing and a drizzle of honey. This salad looks spectacular, takes very little time and is always a big crowd pleaser. If you are lucky enough to have leftovers it makes a killer breakfast the next day.p>
When I first opened Ottolenghi's most recent cookbook Plenty More, I didn't have to go further than the first recipe to decide what to make. This Turkish tomato and pomegranate salad looks like a bowl full of jewels. It is easy, healthy and mouth-wateringly delicious. I make a few small changes to the quantities and substitute fresh mint for the oregano.
After making my first maqluba, the traditional Middle Eastern chicken, vegetable and rice tort, I was convinced I could make a tastier and healthier vegetarian version that eliminated frying all the vegetables. Maqluba Reconstructed is the result. I change up the spices a bit and use lemony za'atar, sumac and cumin instead of the more traditional cinnamon, turmeric, allspice and baharat. You can play with the spices and take this flexible dish down a variety of different flavor profiles. I top the finished maqluba off with some baba ghanoush, tzatziki or just plain Greek yogurt and garnish with pomegranate seeds and mint. This is a one-dish meal that makes a comforting Sunday supper.
Brussels sprouts and pomegranates are a virtual Batman and Robin nutritional duo fighting the bad guys to make your body healthy. Check out my recipe to learn all the good things these two superfoods do for you. I shave the brussels sprouts and sauté them with garlic and shallots. Toss with shaved parmesan, lemon, pomegranates, pumpkin seeds and mint and you have a nice and cosy dish that is uber good for you. Serve hot or at room temperature.
This really is an outstanding dish. It comes from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook, the publication in which Ottolenghi shares many of his restaurant recipes. Dishes like this are why you can't help drooling when you walk into one of Ottolenghi's storefront restaurants in London. The good news is if you can't make it to London anytime soon, you can still enjoy the best of Ottolenghi. My husband rated this dish as one of his all time favorite dishes. If you hate working with butternut squash because it is so tough to cut and peel, read my post for some butternut squash preparation tips and relax because this recipe does not require that you peel the squash. Serve it with Ottolenghi's Burnt Eggplant and Yogurt Dip and garnish with pomegranate, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds.
When the weather begins to cool it is sometimes harder to feel satisfied with just a salad for dinner. Something about the cold cries out for warm comforting food. This warm salad is just the trick for a cold winter's night. I found the recipe in the October 1998 issue of Bon Appetit, but the original recipe comes from the Wappo Bar and Grill in Calistoga, California. I add a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds to give it a flavorful pop.
This salad is a meal in itself and a healthy way to stretch leftover chicken into a second meal the next night. It takes just 30 minutes to assemble and the kale can be made a day in advance.
I have been making this salad for at least 20 years and often make it for Thanksgiving or Christmas because of its bright holiday colors and to health-up what can otherwise be a pretty rich meal. You can make the croutons a day in advance (and definitely make the croutons) if you keep them in an air-tight container.