24 Pomegranate Recipes You'll Be Making All Fall
When the days begin to shorten, and we are all in need of bright flavors, cooking with pomegranate can add a bit of sparkle to meals. In fact, the seeds of a pomegranate are often described in jewelers' terms: rubies, garnets, glowing gems. And it's no wonder; they lend a vibrant pop of color, texture and flavor to side dishes, salads and desserts.
Pomegranates, thought to have originated in Persia, are a feature of many Indian and Middle Eastern dishes, where the seeds are added to rice dishes and other grains, salads, and the juice is boiled down to make a sweet-sour molasses. Pomegranates are beloved in other cultures as well; especially Mediterranean ones, where the fruit adds distinctive flavor to sauces and meats, even drinks. The classic, bright red cocktail mixer, Grenadine, was named by the French for the fruit from which it was originally derived. In the markets of Rome, pomegranates are pressed with oranges for a sunrise-hued drink full of potassium and vitamin C.
The seeds are called arils and getting the dozens of arils out of a tough-skinned pomegranate may seem an impossible task but it's actually quite simple: Score the pomegranate around the perimeter. With your hands, pry the fruit open in half. Next, flip it over so the seed side is down facing a bowl. Then hit the pomegranate with the back of a spoon to release all the seeds. Discard the white membranes and any pith. This method is the easiest and fastest way to the delicious seeds, whether you need them for drinks or hors d'oeuvres. You can also break the halves open, in a bowl of water, picking out the seeds while they're submerged to avoid splatters and red-stained hands.
Look for pomegranates between September and January. Choose deeply colored fruits that feel heavy for their size, which means they're loaded with plenty of juicy seeds. The leathery skin should be shiny and tight; avoid any fruit that is cracked or has soft spots. When kept in the refrigerator, whole pomegranates will keep for a month or more. Pomegranate seeds should be refrigerated and used within a few days, or, if packed tightly, can be frozen for up to three months; to use, scatter directly into dishes without defrosting first.
Cardamom-Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Pomegranate
Eggplant, Pistachio, and Pomegranate Pizza
Braised Fennel with Pomegranate
Pomegranate-Braised Short Ribs
Homemade Pomegranate Molasses
Herbed Rice with Dates and Pomegranate
Fennel-and-Endive Salad with Pomegranate Seeds and Walnuts
Raw Kale Salad with Pomegranate and Toasted Walnuts
Sweet Potatoes with Coconut, Pomegranate, and Lime
Pomegranate Roasted Chicken
Red-Pepper and Walnut Dip with Pomegranate
Chicken Salad with Apple, Pomegranate, and Beet
Steel-Cut Oats with Orange, Pomegranate Seeds, Pepitas, and Maple Syrup
Roasted Vegetables with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Cauliflower (both regular and Romanesco), sweet potatoes, and Brussels sprouts are roasted until sweet and tender. Just before serving, the vegetables are drizzled with a sweet vinaigrette of pomegranate juice and olive oil, and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds.
Pomegranate with Pears and Goat Cheese
Freekeh with Caramelized Shallots, Chickpeas, Pomegranate, and Yogurt
Celery and Parsley Salad with Pomegranate
Pomegranate Skirt-Steak Kebabs
Pomegranate Fontina Rice Balls
Often called arancini, these crumb-coated risotto balls are a popular Italian appetizer. Here, juicy little pomegranate seeds offset the richness of the risotto's Parmesan and fontina cheeses.
A one-bowl stunner that feeds your entire family. Layers of coconut custard, lady fingers, and pomegranate gelatin pile up high in this delicious fall dessert. Save time when the big holidays roll around by making this trifle up to three days in advance (it gives the flavors time to mix and mingle!).