Author's note: Garnet yams have mahogany skins that yield bright orange flesh. They are not interchangeable with pale-skinned sweet potatoes, which tend to have a much dried flesh and are...
Mastering the Pomegranate
Pomegranates are easy to love in theory. Beautiful ruby-colored orbs that promise flavor and abundant red flesh, pomegranates are a tart and lovely addition to salads (leafy salads as well as chicken and tuna salads), rice pilafs, fruit compotes, and as a topping for ice cream or custard-based tarts. As one of the few fruits that you can find in season during the winter months, pomegranates are also a welcome change from bananas and apples. Loaded with antioxidants and Vitamin C, wouldn't you know that these fruits are good for you, too?
The problem with pomegranates is really a matter of logistics. You, the fruit-hungry diner, are on the outside of the pomegranate and the juice-filled seeds are on the inside. All that stands between you and your tasty snack is a seemingly impossible, though deceptively innocent-looking hull. However, as anyone who has tried to eat a pomegranate will know, each of those delicious, jewel-like seeds is really a miniature explosion waiting to happen, and the same bright red juice that makes the fruit look so appealing in salads and the like can also stain your clothing and prove to be generally troublesome to the keeper of a clean kitchen.
The solution to this problem, however, is disarmingly simple. Before cutting into the pomegranate, fill a large bowl with cold water. Cut the pomegranate in quarters and place one quarter at a time in the bowl of water. Separate the seeds (which will sink to the bottom of the bowl) from the white pith (which will float), throw away the pith and the skin, and pour the water through a sieve to catch the seeds. Store the seeds, refrigerated, for up to a week.