I have seen pomegranates in the stores lately and have explored how to enjoy them best. They are available from September though February in the Northern Hemisphere. This curious fruit has been marketed to have great health benefits as an antioxidant. I happen to like the taste of pomegranates and use it in cooking as well as in dinner table centerpiece or part of a floral arrangement. I like the clever use as a guest table card from Martha Stewart.
Roll the pomegranates over a countertop in every direction to loosen up the juice, make a small hole in the skin and squeeze the fruit over a bowl. Be careful with the juice as it will stain your hands and clothes. From six nice-sized pomegranates, you can expect to get about three cups of juice. It’s perishable. So drink it within hours, either straight or mixed with other fruit juices that it complements, such as apple or cherry. Don’t drink all that juice, though. Save some of it for other uses.
Pomegranate Glaze – This is great to use in marinating lamb or pork.
- 4 cups pomegranate juice
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
- Salt to taste
- 1 pinch red crushed chili flakes
Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium to high heat. Skim foam on top as it boils. Reduce by half to a honey consistency. While still hot, brush on finished broiled items.
Pomegranate Marinated Rack of Lamb
- 2 racks of lamb
- 6 large cloves garlic, chopped finely1-1/2 tablespoons chopped, fresh thyme
- 1/4 cup pomegranate glaze (see recipe above)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Pomegranate seeds for garnish
To Prepare Lamb
Lightly score fat in a diamond pattern; rub each rack with half the garlic and half the thyme. Put lamb in a heavy duty resealable bag. Scrape up off the work surface any garlic and thyme that didn’t adhere to the lamb; add it to the bag. Pour pomegranate juice into bag; seal. Marinate lamb in the refrigerator overnight, turning occasionally.
To Cook Lamb
Remove lamb from bag, reserving marinade; pat dry. Bring to cool room temperature. Meanwhile, strain reserved marinade; reduce over medium-high heat by about half. Reserve. Rub each rack with half the olive oil; season well with salt and pepper. Arrange racks in a shallow roasting pan, fat side up. Roast at 500˚ F until the internal temperature reads between 125 and 130 for medium rare, about 25 minutes. Baste lamb with reserved reduced marinade twice toward the end of cooking. Remove lamb from oven; cover with a tea towel. Let rest 10 minutes. Carve into chops. Drizzle each chop with a scant teaspoon of remaining reduced marinade. Garnish chops with pomegranate seeds. Makes 16 chops
Pomegranate Vinaigrette – Terrific on salads or fresh fruit
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup honey
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup virgin olive oil
In a blender, add pomegranate seeds, rice vinegar, honey and seasonings. Blend well. Slowly add olive oil while continuing to blend. Adjust seasoning and strain.
Oprah’s Pomegranate Martini Courtesy of Rachel Ray
- 1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
- 2 ounces Absolute Citron vodka or white tequila
- 1 ounce Cointreau liquor
- Cup of ice
- Splash of sparkling water (optional)
- Squeeze of lemon (optional)
Shake ingredients in a shaker and put in chilled martini glasses. Put pomegranate fruit into glass as garnish.