I have food allergies and food intolerances. Even with these culinary limitations, I work toward expanding my diet whenever possible by adding new fruits, vegetables, grains, or meats.
Maybe it's a poussin, not chicken, for dinner; sauteed swiss chard instead of spinach; or quinoa replacing rice as a side dish. Generally, I stay within the groups that I know are okay and explore from there.
Sometimes it's a matter of becoming reacquainted with a food from my childhood that I've forgotten or haven't seen on the market in a long while. Pomegranates are one of those fruits. They have a long and rich history. They're depicted in the Greek myth of Persephone and in the Song of Solomon in the Old Testament. In the modern age, Pomegranate juice is being proven scientifically to fight heart disease, lower cholesterol, and even help with lower the risk of prostate cancer!
Have you ever had one? I remember having one when I was about 8, procured from the local Korean market in winter. I remember eating the pulp and spitting the seeds out, thinking the juice was sweet but who wants to eat seeds? I never really went back to the ruby berry with the peel again.
That is until a dinner party late last year. Our host made a simple green salad with pears and Pomegranate arils. Each aril popped with juice and sweet-tart flavor, and to my adult palate, the seeds were crunchy but not in a wholly unpleasant way. The overall effect of these seeds in a salad was a sweetness and texture that added dimension to some plain mesclun leaves with vinaigrette.
A few weeks back, I saw Pomegranates cropping up in my local supermarket, two for $5. And so, I've been going crazy for pomegranates. I bought two, read up on the intricate way the arils needed to be extricated from the pod type hull and created a cup and a half of glimmering bursting rubies ready to be added to dishes everywhere. Mainly I've been eating them by the spoonful, they're so good. But I've also created great mixed salads: mesclun greens, carrots, peppers, cucumbers, chickpeas, and Pomegranate seeds.
There are some easy recipes over at foodfit.com for Pomegranates if you're looking to way to add the fresh arils to your dishes or the more traditional Pomegranate sauce.