In a recent Foodie Finds piece, our local paper’s food writer, Amy Wong, waxed poetic about the Power of the Pomegranate, which has become the new darling of the culinary/nutrition world. Tart, delicious, beautiful, and chock full of antioxidant power, pomegranates are suddenly turning up on menus in everything from entrees to cocktails.
One of our favorite Santa Fe restaurants (Julian’s on Shelby St. downtown) does a fabulous duck confit with a pomegranate sauce. I should say they do a fabulous duck confit. Period. Because their sauces for this dish change with the season and in the late fall and winter, it’s often pomegranate. Makes my mouth water just to reminisce about it.
According to Ms. Wong, at 31 West, the restaurant at the Hotel Andalucia in Santa Barbara, they offer (as so many places do nowadays) a Pomegranate Martini. Likewise, Elements Restaurant and Bar in Santa Barbara has a Passionate Pomegranate champagne cocktail that combines pomegranate liqueur, passion fruit puree, and champagne that I think would add a snazzy and seasonal twist to a New Years Eve celebration. Note to self…
I love both the look and the flavor of fresh pomegranate seed sacs, amid leaves of fresh greens, some crumbles of chevre, a few pecan pieces, all dressed with a light vinaigrette–pomegranate, of course.
They are stunning–like so many rubies–scattered around the plate of Poached Pears in a Sweet Cabernet Reduction Sauce for a jaw-dropping finale to a dinner. (The link will take you to our Low Carb CookwoRx website; just enter the recipe name in the search box and voila!)
Pomegranates have been a part of human cuisine since ancient times, cultivated for millennia in the Mediterranean and India. Their painted images graced the frescoed walls of villas at Pompeii and bowls of them remained on tables hurriedly abandoned there when Vesuvius blew its top in 79 AD. Slightly more recently, Juliet mused to Romeo upon whether it was a nightingale or a lark that “nightly sings in yon pomegranate tree.”
They’ve been called food of the gods, but they can be the devil to work with, staining fingers, clothes, cutting boards and anything else their vibrant red juice touches as the seeds tenaciously hang onto the bitter white pith. Unless, of course, you know the secret for no muss, no fuss cleaning.
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