De Ma Cuisine

Pomegranates Archive

Monday

30

November 2015

0

COMMENTS

Twice Cooked Beets with Pomegranates and Goat Cheese

Written by , Posted in Appetizers, Cheese, Dairy-Free, Fruit, Gluten Free, Herbs, Lunch, Nuts, Quick and Easy, Sides, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

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It’s chilly today. And it’s delightful. I’m still wearing flip flops, but I’ve got thick socks on too (don’t judge). I’ve been seeing on social media that some places are already getting snow. I complain about how hot it is here at this time of year, but I wonder, if we were to move somewhere with four real seasons, would I complain then too? Probably.

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One of the great things about the mild winters that we have is the produce is bountiful all year long. I’m trying to look on the bright side, to be positive, to think up rather than down. Not easy for a pessimist to do. But, this, this is definitely a plus.

Beets are in season right now. So are pomegranates. Both have stained my hands red. I’m ok with that. I used some of the red coloring from the beets to try to dye some homemade tortillas. They may just end up looking pink. I’m ok with that too.

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The idea for this dish was to so something quick and easy with beets. Steaming them takes less time than roasting, so that’s what I opted for. I had some potatoes to steam for another dish, so I reused the water. If you don’t have anything else to cook, you could add a little more water, throw in your vegetable scraps, and make some veggie stock.

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Honey, goat cheese, garlic, and ginger compliment the beets’ earthy flavor. Because it gets broiled, the raw flavors mellow a bit. But, you could always use roasted garlic and powdered ginger if you want to tone it down even more.

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Variations on this dish: Chop up the steamed beets and toss with the cheese mixture and broil. You could serve this as a dip, or just alongside your main dish. Tofu or vegan cheese can be substituted for the goat or feta cheese and yogurt. I used to be a non-goat cheese eater. This is the second recipe that I’ve made where I enjoyed it though, so I guess I’m coming around.

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This made a nice light lunch, but it would also be great alongside some quinoa or pilaf for a heartier lunch, or for dinner. Maybe as a nice change from Thanksgiving leftovers later in the week?

Happy Eating!

Twice Cooked Beets with Pomegranates and Goat Cheese

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 2

Serving Size: 1 whole beet

Twice Cooked Beets with Pomegranates and Goat Cheese

Ingredients

  • 2 beets, peeled and halved
  • 1 t fresh parsley, chopped (or 1/4 t dried, crumbled)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (raw or roasted)
  • 1/4 t fresh ginger, minced (or pinch ground)
  • pinch cayenne
  • to taste salt
  • 1 t honey
  • 2 oz. goat cheese or feta or tofu
  • 1-2 T/serving plain yogurt or silken tofu, for topping
  • walnuts, chopped, for topping
  • pomegranate seeds, for topping
  • could also top with chopped cucumber

Instructions

  1. Place beets in a steamer basket in a pot with about 1 1/2" boiling water in the bottom. Cover and steam for about 20-30 minutes, or until beets are tender (easily pierced with a sharp knife).
  2. Toss parsley through cheese. Set aside.
  3. Let beets cool slightly. Slice a tiny bit off the bottom of each beet so it sits flat. Scoop center out of beets (leaving a sturdy edge) and mash into cheese filling. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired. Fill beets with filling and broil for about 2-5 minutes, watching carefully so they don't burn (in a toaster oven, it may take longer, like closer to 10 minutes).
  4. Top with yogurt or silken tofu, walnuts, and pomegranate seeds.
http://www.de-ma-cuisine.com/beets-pomegranates-cheese/

Monday

23

November 2015

0

COMMENTS

Rustic Persimmon Tart

Written by , Posted in Baking, Brunch, Dairy-Free, Dessert, Eggs, Fruit, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

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I’m a sucker for pie crust. But, confession, I’m not actually crazy about pie itself. I just love a good crust. When I make Chicken or Veggie Pot Pie, it’s my favorite part. I make it in big batches and keep it in the freezer for days when I’m in the mood to bake.

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Today, it was time for a tart. I’ve been waiting and waiting for my hachiya persimmons to ripen. Finally, they’re ready. If you’ve ever wondered if you could use a hachiya persimmon before it’s ripe, wonder no more. Just don’t do it. It will make your mouth pucker and get that gross dry feeling that you might not understand if you’ve never experienced it. Trust me, you’re better off heeding my warning. Wait. Until. They’re. Ripe.

You can hasten the ripening process by placing them next to, or in a paper bag with, apples and bananas, which give off ethylene gas. You can also put them in the freezer. Or, just leave them on the counter for a few weeks like I did. You’ll know they’re ready when they feel like a water balloon and you think your fingers are going to break through the skin without even squeezing.

Ready. Ready. Ready.

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While this recipe makes enough filling for two tarts, I saved half for another recipe. But, maybe you want to make two because this would be the perfect dessert for Thanksgiving dinner (you’re welcome), or for breakfast the next day (double welcome).

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It would be a great idea to switch out the ingredients depending on what you have on hand. No persimmons? No problem. Try apple sauce and apple slices. No lemons (or maybe they’re too tart for your taste)? Use oranges. Want to go vegan? Skip the egg wash or try coconut milk. Oh, and use a butter-free crust. Gluten-free? There are lots of GF options these days, so find one at your local market, or visit the Gluten-Free Girl’s site to find out how to make your own.

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I like the rustic look of this tart, otherwise known as a galette. You get to see the pretty filling with the edges folded up all around. Plus, after it cools (yes, let it cool completely before eating), it’s easy to slice up and eat it out of hand. No plates required. That’s winning to me (because the dishes! always with doing the dishes!).

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I topped the tart with a dollop of maple syrup sweetened whipped cream and some pomegranate seeds. The seeds add a juicy burst of flavor that’s the perfect compliment to the flaky crust, and deep, sweet filling.

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Happy Eating! 

Rustic Persimmon Tart

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 8-10

Rustic Persimmon Tart

Ingredients

  • 1 t lemon or orange zest
  • 2 C persimmon pulp (super ripe) (about 2 hachiya persimmons)
  • 1 T orange juice
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 1/8 t cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg
  • pinch salt
  • 2 pie crusts
  • 4 fuyu persimmons (could also use apples, pears, figs, cherries, berries, grapes, or stone fruit), peeled and sliced
  • 2 lemon or small orange, peeled and chopped
  • egg white, (optional), for brushing
  • cinnamon
  • whipped cream (optional), for topping
  • pomegranate seeds, for topping

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375F.
  2. Combine lemon/orange zest through salt. Taste for sweetness.
  3. Roll out pie crusts in a circle on a lightly floured surface. Place on a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet (use one with edges in case the filling runs). Spread about 3 T at a time of the hachiya mixture in the center of each crust. Top with some fuyu slices and lemon/orange chunks. Repeat until all of the hachiya mixture and slices are gone. Gently fold the edges of the crust up and around the filling, leaving the center open. Brush crust with egg and sprinkle everything with cinnamon. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until crust is golden and flaky and filling is hot and bubbly.
  4. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.
  5. Serve topped with whipped cream and pomegranate seeds.
http://www.de-ma-cuisine.com/rustic-persimmon-tart/

Monday

12

October 2015

0

COMMENTS

Pomegranate and Purple Basil Iced Tea

Written by , Posted in Breakfast, Brunch, Cocktails, Dairy-Free, Drinks, Fruit, Gluten Free, Herbs, Vegetarian

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When I think of basil, I think of things like pesto, soup, risotto… even french toast. I love basil so much that I grow it in my garden – I can never seem to get enough. It’s one of the best things about summer (and fall, at least around here). The smell is intoxicating. So when purple basil came in the weekly Abundant Harvest Organics box, it seemed like the perfect time to try something new with it. I made tea.

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While basil is one of the stars of this tea, it has some pretty powerful co-stars: pomegranates and ginger. I like this combination for a few reasons.

  • It’s fun to find something new to do with pomegranates. I sometimes have trouble using them up. This recipe used two whole pomegranates. Perfect!
  • Ginger – spicy and flavorful, but that’s not all. Did you know that ginger is good for you? It’s great for the tummy and intestines. It’s anti-inflammatory, can help with nausea, and is said to reduce pain levels for individuals with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Ginger tea is diaphoretic (warms from the inside out), so it’s great if you’ve got a cold, or if you just want to warm up.
  • On the healthy note, there are lots of studies going on about the many health benefits of pomegranates. They are being researched to find out their effect on things like free-radicals, memory, and even the common cold. Basil is also known to be a digestive aid, to help with headaches, and poor circulation. It’s also said to be an antioxidant, anti-viral, antimicrobial, and a stress reliever.

Great tasting, great for you.

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To begin, those pomegranate seeds need to be removed from the pith or membrane (for a refresher on how to do this, check out last year’s post on deseeding pomegranates). Once they’ve been removed and the skin and pith discarded, the rest of the ingredients are added.

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The seeds, ginger, basil, and honey are covered with boiling water and left to steep for a while.

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Once the tea has come to room temperature, it’s mashed (to extract as much pomegranate flavor as possible) and strained.

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After cooling completely in the fridge, it can be drunk as is with a sprig of basil for garnish.

Some fun twists: To serve it hot, either reheat the chilled tea, or just let it steep for a bit and then strain. I have a cold today, so I turned the leftover cold tea into a hot therapeutic tea. I added some more fresh ginger, a pinch of cayenne (helps me with congestion), and a bit more honey (soothes my throat) On a day when I’m feeling better, I might consider turning it into a cocktail (it could be used as a mojito base). Fresh lemons could also be added for a yummy take on lemonade.

Happy Sipping!

Pomegranate and Purple Basil Iced Tea

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Pomegranate and Purple Basil Iced Tea

Ingredients

  • 8 C water
  • 2 pomegranates, seeds removed from peel and pith
  • 2-3 t fresh ginger, diced
  • 1/4 C purple basil
  • (could also add mint or lemons)
  • 1 T + 2 t honey (or more, to taste)

Instructions

  1. Boil water.
  2. Place pomegranates through honey in a heat-proof container. Pour boiling water over. Let stand until room temperature (unless serving hot - in that case steep until flavorful enough). Mash, then press through strainer and cool completely in the refrigerator. (Could freeze some in ice cube trays to use in place of ice for serving.)

Notes

Some fun twists: To serve it hot, either reheat the chilled tea, or just let it steep for a bit and then strain. Or, to drink when I have a cold: I turned the leftover cold tea into a hot therapeutic tea. I added some more fresh ginger, a pinch of cayenne, and a bit more honey. It could be used in a cocktail (it could be used as a mojito base). Fresh lemons could also be added for a yummy take on lemonade.

http://www.de-ma-cuisine.com/pomegranate-and-purple-basil-iced-tea/

Possible health benefits are my opinions and ideas, based on the research that I’ve done, but are in no way intended to replace the advice of a qualified health care professional.
Sources:
The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, N.D., and Joseph Pizzorno, N.D., with Lara Pizzorno, M.A., L.M.T., Atria Books 2005
Reader’s Digest Foods That Harm Foods That Heal, The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc. 1997
Wikipedia

Thursday

23

October 2014

0

COMMENTS

How to Deseed Pomegranates

Written by , Posted in Fruit, How To

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Beautiful pomegranates are in season right now. Ruby red jewels inside tough skin. We could go deep and get philosophical about how that’s how so many people are… Tough on the outside, but when you get to know them, deep down, past the sometimes brittle skin, there are jewels to be found.

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As there are many ways to get to the center of who a person is, there are different ways to deseed a pomegranate (like that segue?). But, in trying a few different ways, I found one that was far superior. DeseedingPomegranates-3

The first way is how I used to eat them as a kid. I didn’t care about the mess, so just cutting it in half and kinda scraping them out and pulling the peel down worked alright.

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You can also whack the pomegranate with a wooden spoon, over a bowl or holding your hand underneath. This didn’t work very well for me. It splattered juice everywhere and the seeds didn’t really come loose.

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Here’s the way that did work. It wasn’t messy and didn’t take long.

Quarter each pomegranate.

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Place them in a bowl.

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Cover with plenty of water.

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Using both hands (or one if you’re photographing the experiment and don’t want to hold the camera with your shoulder and risk dropping it into the pome-water), peel the skin back, keeping it under the water. Once the peel is free from the seeds, discard.

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Grab a handful of seeds and rub them around, under the water, getting the pith (or membrane) to separate from the seeds.

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The pith will float to the surface and you can skim it off, leaving you with a bowlful of seeds.

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Drain the seeds (save the water for your garden).

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Transfer the seeds to a storage container.

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Now that they’ve been harvested with minimal mess, let’s talk about how to serve them.

First of all, you can just eat them the way they are (yes, even the white part of the seed that’s inside). You could freeze them for a hot day, or just stand at the counter eating them out of the bag that you’d intended to freeze…

You could make them into a salad dressing, or use them as part of a salad.

To indulge your sweet tooth, add them to a crisp or a crumble, or you could dip them in white chocolate.

They’d be lovely tossed with lemon juice, chopped avocado, chile peppers, and cucumber, for a spicy and refreshing salad. Or with some apples as salsa.

You might roast some beets and top them with cool pomegranate seeds and a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice.

Pomegranates pair well with meats like chicken, fish, and lamb. Serve a salad with fresh pomegranates, almonds, and orange slices alongside one of these meats that has been roasted.