We may think of pomegranates as being exotic and a little intimidating, but they have been part of the Australian psyche for a long time. Notably, in the form of grenadine syrup, the sticky red cordial that is used in pubs to make pink lemonade & other mixed drinks [I’ve even seen grenadine used in a schooner of Guinness for the ladies, but haven’t tried this so can’t comment if it is a good idea or not].
Pomegranates are becoming more common and affordable in our fruit and vegetable shops, so today’s post is dedicated to ideas on how to use them.
De-seeding a pomegranate: The parts you use are the pretty jewel-like seeds inside the pomegranate and the juice. To get the seeds out of a pomegranate there are lots of tips and techniques – some say cut in half and whack with a wooden spoon to dislodge the seeds. I cut the pomegranate in half, and squeeze each half over a bowl – lots of juice and seeds will come out. I then proceed to rip the half apart, popping out the seeds as I go. Remove any pithy bits that make their way into the bowl. Pomegranate can stain so you may want to use plastic gloves and be careful not to get splatters on your clothes.
A tip I learnt from one of Nigella’s recipe books, is that pomegranate seeds freeze really well. Remove the seeds as described above, then transfer to a zip-lock plastic bag or a container and freeze until needed. You might want to freeze just the seeds [not the juice], otherwise you will end up with an ice-block and you will need to defrost the whole thing to use – if you have frozen just the seeds they will be on standby to sprinkle a handful over a bowl of Hummus or Tzatziki for decoration or to add to salads, fruit salad and other dishes.
Burghul comes in fine or coarse varieties, I use coarse for the texture. Burghul is also spelt bulgur, burghul or bulgar. If you want a gluten-free alternative to burghul, you could substitute quinoa.
Wishing a Happy Mothers Day to all mums, including my mum for tomorrow.
Watercress and Pomegranate Tabouli
* This recipe was inspired by one that appeared in the November 2003 edition of Australian Gourmet Traveller. I have modified and adapted it over the years to come up with the below reincarnation.
- 1 cup burghul
- 2 lemons finely zested & juiced [if this is too lemony for you, use just the juice]
- 2 pomegranates – seeds & juice removed
- 1 bunch watercress, sprigs picked
- 1 large Spanish or red onion, finely chopped
- 1 bunch mint, leaves removed & finely chopped
- 1 bunch flat leaf or Italian parsley, leaves removed & finely chopped
- 2 tomatoes, finely diced
- ¼ cup olive oil [extra virgin preferred]
- Salt & pepper
- Add lemon zest [if using], salt and pepper to the burghul.
- Add lemon juice, pomegranate juice to a measuring jug, fill up with water to equal 1 ¼ cups of liquid and add to the burghul mix.
- Allow to burghul time to stand and absorb the liquid – you can test when it is ready by tasting to make sure the grains are tender [you should end up with a sloppy mix when this is finished, the extra liquid will coat the greens later].
- If you are substituting quinoa, cook according to instructions on the pack but using the lemon juice & pomegranate juice.
- Prepare the watercress, mint, parsley, onion, tomatoes and pomegranate seeds, combine in a bowl.
- Add the soaked burghul and olive oil. Toss to combine.
- Can be eaten straight away or keeps for up to a day or two in the fridge. Enjoy.
How do you use pomegranates? Has this post inspired any new ideas?