How to Eat a Pomegranate

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At the Hillcrest Market, Barry Koral shares his booth with a seasoned organic farmer named Dennis Stowell of Tom King Farms.  He is dedicated, understated and the salt of the earth–the kind of guy you can trust your food to.  As I walked up to his side of the stand, he was in the process of showing one of his fans how to cut and eat a pomegranate, potentially one of the messier jobs in the kitchen.  Here is what he showed…(the only additional recommendation to add is that I would cut the pomegranate on a cutting board, or table to avoid any accidents in the hand).

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First, you hold the pomegranate in one hand and core the stem out of each side.

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Then, you cut the skin on four sides (in quarters)

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Next, placing the pomegranate in a bowl of water peel the skin off and the juicy red arils will be released, floating to the top of the water.  Like a cranberry bog, “harvest” them from the water and enjoy.  The mess stays in the water.

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He picked up a Persian-style melon next to him and cut a generous wedge for me and the infatuated bystander.  Dennis said the best melons in the world come from Uzbekistan and Tajikastan and the seeds from this melon came directly from there.  It was slightly underipe, but still had a candy-like melt in the mouth experience with a perfect flavor.  Can’t wait for the ripe ones!

Ponzu Pea Pods

A quick and easy recipe that is perfect for a light appetizer, a sushi side, as an international side dish or even alone as a snack.

pea pods in bowl 06 2008

Serves 4

1 cup water

2 cups pea pods, trimmed and strings removed

1 tablespoon tamari

1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon brown rice vinegar

1/2 teaspoon mirin

Heat water in a 2 quart saucepan at medium high heat.  Add pea pods and cover.  Cook for 30 to 45 seconds, blanching the pea pods.  Turn off the burner and drain water.  Add remaining ingredients.  Toss pea pods together and serve immediately