Pom-tas­tic!

Col­or­ful pomegranates pack a punch

The Review - - Obituaries - By Emily Ryan For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia RECIPE COUR­TESY OF CHEF EMILY SCOTT

What in­gre­di­ent works equally well in a smoothie, salad, hum­mus or vodka? It’s pomegranate, a su­per­food in sea­son now. In fact, Novem­ber’s Na­tional Pomegranate Month.

“Pomegranates are amaz­ing. I like the tart­ness,” said chef Mor­gan Young of The Red House Ca­ter­ing and Love in a Bowl, Soups from The Red House — a Kim­ber­ton-based meal de­liv­ery ser­vice.

Split open a pomegranate to re­veal jewel-like ar­ils, or seed pods.

“When you bite into them, the juice just ex­plodes in your mouth,” he de­scribed. “It’s tart and sweet and rich.”

For his pomegranate salad with arugula, figs and al­monds, Young re­duces pomegranate juice, cook­ing off the acid for “con­cen­trated sweet­ness and rich­ness.” That re­duc­tion works well atop roasted lentils and veg­eta­bles too — a recipe from his mother and ca­ter­ing part­ner, chef Jenny Young.

An­other op­tion: Sprin­kle ar­ils over rice or quinoa “for a pop of color and fla­vor,” sug­gested chef Emily Scott of West Ch­ester.

And for break­fast, she makes a pomegranate­topped red vel­vet smoothie, which is “very healthful, but tastes like a treat.”

“Pomegranates are great be­cause they re­ally hold up well un­der re­frig­er­a­tion,” Scott ex­plained. “I’ll cut off both ends, slice around the skin into quar­ters, pull apart and then en­joy pick­ing out the seeds through­out the­week. Youdon’t have to eat them all at once be­cause they stay crisp and sweet.”

Red Vel­vet Smoothie IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

3 ripe ba­nanas 1 to 2 cups frozen cher­ries

2 tea­spoons vanilla ex­tract 2 cups fresh spinach 1 to 2 ta­ble­spoons ca­cao pow­der

Ap­prox­i­mately 16 ounces cold wa­ter Pomegranate seeds Dark choco­late chips

IN­STRUC­TIONS

In a high- pow­ered blender, com­bine ba­nanas, frozen cher­ries, vanilla ex­tract, spinach, ca­cao pow­der and enough cold wa­ter to blend to your de­sired con­sis­tency. (I used about 16 ounces wa­ter.) Top with pomegranate seeds and dark choco­late chips. Makes two large smooth­ies.

Pomegranate Salad IN­GRE­DI­ENTS Dress­ing:

2 large juicy pomegranates, quar­tered and di­vided

1 ta­ble­spoon shal­lot, minced ¾ cup av­o­cado oil 1 tea­spoon fresh lime juice

Sea salt and and freshly ground black pep­per to taste

Salad:

Baby arugula 1/3 cup sliced, toasted al­monds

3 to 4 large fresh figs quar­tered ( black prefer­ably, or green if black are not avail­able)

Seeds from re­served 2 pomegranate quar­ters

IN­STRUC­TIONS

Dress­ing: Into a colan­der over a bowl, squeeze 6 of the pomegranate quar­ters, (re­serv­ing re­main­ing 2 quar­ters). Press hard on the seeds. Yields a cup of juice. Pour juice through a fine sieve into small saucepan. Add shal­lot; bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and sim­mer un­til re­duced by half (8 to 10 min­utes). Cool, whisk in av­o­cado oil grad­u­ally and add salt and pep­per to taste. Whisk in lime juice. Store in jar with tight­fit­ting lid. Shake well be­fore us­ing. Yield about 1 cup

In a large bowl, add 6 gen­er­ous hand­fuls of baby arugula and the figs. Toss with about half the dress­ing (do not over­dress). Gar­nish with toasted al­monds and pomegranate seeds. Re­main­ing dress­ing may be served sep­a­rately with the salad if you wish or will keep in re­frig­er­a­tor for about a week.

Roast Lentils & Veg­eta­bles with Pomegranate

I like to use the re­duced pomegranate juice on roast lentils and veg­eta­bles, and serve the dress­ing on the side for peo­ple to sprin­kle on as they wish.

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

4 cups Puy lentils, rinsed 2 cups but­ter­nut squash, peeled in 2-inch dice 4 shal­lots, halved 2 car­rots, washed halved length­wise and cut in 3-inch pieces

6 baby turnips halved (or 2 medium turnips cut in 2-inch pieces)

4 parsnips, washed peeled, halved length­wise and cut in 3-inch pieces

2 cups washed cau­li­flower flo­rets Ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil 2 ta­ble­spoons honey Sea salt and freshly ground black pep­per

1 ta­ble­spoon fresh thyme, finely chopped

1 ta­ble­spoon fresh rose­mary, finely chopped

½ cup freshly squeezed pomegranate juice

½ cup pomegranate dress­ing (see Pomegranate Salad recipe)

IN­STRUC­TIONS

Put lentils in large saucepan, cover with wa­ter by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and sim­mer un­til al­most ten­der, 30 to 35 min­utes. (Check wa­ter level of­ten and add more if needed.)

Pre­heat oven to 425 de­grees. Toss pre­pared veg­eta­bles in a large bowl with olive oil and 1 to 2 tea­spoons sea salt. Place soft­ened lentils in oiled bak­ing dish, sea­son with salt and pep­per. Stir in rose­mary and thyme and a ta­ble­spoon of olive oil. Roast un­cov­ered 20 to 30 min­utes.

Empty out veg­eta­bles onto large bak­ing tray, and place veg­eta­bles and lentils in the oven. Roast, turn­ing veg­eta­bles once for about 20 to 30 min­utes or un­til veg­eta­bles are lightly browned. (You should check them­sev­eral times, and re­move any which are cook­ing more quickly to a dish.) Spoon lentils onto a serv­ing dish, ar­range roast veg­eta­bles on top. Driz­zle with the honey and dress with pomegranate juice. Serve some pomegranate dress­ing on the side for sprin­kling RECIPE COUR­TESY OF CHEF JENNY YOUNG

POMPOMS Loaded Hum­mus IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

2 (15-ounce) cans chick­peas 1 tea­spoon bak­ing soda 1/3 cup le­mon juice 3 cloves gar­lic 1 tea­spoon kosher salt ½ cup sesame tahini ¼ tea­spoon ground cumin 2 ta­ble­spoons hot wa­ter Toasted whole-wheat pita Baby ro­maine leaves Top­pings: POM POMS fresh ar­ils Chopped flat-leaf pars­ley Olive oil Sliced red onion Sliced cu­cum­ber Toasted pine nuts Sautéed mush­rooms Olives

IN­STRUC­TIONS

Put chick­peas and liq­uid into a saucepan, then cover the chick­peas with wa­ter to 1 inch higher than the beans. Add bak­ing soda and bring to a boil. Boil 5 min­utes, then drain and rinse chick­peas in hot wa­ter. While chick­peas boil, in a food pro­ces­sor com­bine the le­mon juice, gar­lic, salt, tahini and cumin. Pulse and then let sit un­til the chick-

PHOTO BY EMILY RYAN

Ac­cord­ing to the Pomegranate Coun­cil, one medium pomegranate pro­duces about ¾ of ar­ils or ½ cup of juice. cup

PHOTO BY EMILY RYAN

Pomegranates boast an­tiox­i­dants, vi­ta­min C, potas­sium and fiber.

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