Do you avoid whole pomegranates because you’re afraid of the mess they make when you try to pry their ruby jewels from pith and peel? Fear no more. Here’s the amazing trick that will save you spatters, stains, and money.
BTW, the verb may be “to seed,” but what you’re hunting are actually arils. The seed is that hard little nubbin at the bottom of each aril. A good, ripe pomegranate’s arils have lots of juicy flesh surrounding the small seed.
Have a deep bowl of water handy. Cut an ‘X’ in the blossom end of the fruit deep enough so that you’ll be able to work your thumbs into the fruit.
Submerge the pomegranate in the water and break it into large pieces. This is an early season pomegranate variety that has pink arils instead of deep ruby or garnet.
Working under water, use your fingers to loosen the kernels, scoop them into a strainer and drain. That’s it.
Next week, I’ll show you how to use your freshly mined arils in a colorful salad. It’s my family’s Thanksgiving favorite–a refreshing contrast to the holiday’s rich foods.
Fall is pomegranate season, so odds are in your favor for finding good “poms.” The best pomegranates are large and heavy for their size. They have a fresh-looking rind; avoid fruits with shriveled, dry looking skins. Some splitting is thought to be an indicator they are ripe and bursting with juicy arils, but avoid fruit with cracks that show signs of mold or bruising. Store pomegranates in the refrigerator to keep their skins from turning leathery, which makes it harder to break into the fruit. The anti-oxidant-rich arils will keep about a week in the refrigerator.