I thought I knew the best way to seed a pomegranate: under water. I wrote about seeding pomegranates under water way back in 2009. It’s still a fine method, make no mistake, but now I think there is an even better method.
I first read about it on Letty’s Kitchen, but I wasn’t sure I’d prefer it over the under water technique until I tried it. Now I do it this way all the time, and who wants to shell out the extreme premium for shelled seeds? Sometimes that premium is four times as high as a whole pomegranate. Good grief.
But first, let’s not cut the orb in half, slicing through those precious seeds filled with ruby liquid. The whole reason for these methods of seeding the gorgeous fruit is to save that prized antioxidant juice.
So the “new” best way to seed a pomegranate starts with the same steps as the under water method. Slice a sliver off the top (you could core it like you do a tomato) and then “score” the fruit into quarters (“score” means to slice through the skin layer, but go no deeper).
Once the pomegranate is scored, it’s easy to break into quarters with your hands, without breaking any of the seeds.
Now pick up a quarter with one hand, seeds facing your palm, and pick up a flat spatula with the other (it helps if the spatula is hefty, not some flimsy thing). I do this over a rimmed baking sheet but a bowl works just as well.
Start slapping the pomegranate quarter. Go on, give it a good whack. If the seeds aren’t immediately tumbling out, you need to strike harder. They will all (almost) come out.
If some are still stuck, you can now bend the flexible skin backwards and gently nudge any clingers with your fingers.
I’ve found this method far easier and less messy than the old under water trick.
This demo pomegranate was perfectly ruby red. Gorgeous. GORGEOUS! (Sometimes, the seeds will be whitish, and while perfectly fine, not nearly as pretty. I got lucky with this one. Make sure you choose a smooth, shiny, tight-skinned one. It doesn’t matter if it is bright, bright red. What matters most is that it feels heavy for its size and there are no soft spots.)
Now what to do with all those ruby red seeds? Here are a few ideas:
- Top fruit salads (or green salads for that matter).
- Top guacamole.
- Garnish lamb dishes.
- Garnish rice dishes, especially pilafs.
- Top yogurt & granola parfaits.
- Top oatmeal.
- Toss into a smoothie.
- Grab a spoon and shovel them into your mouth (I caught my husband doing this one morning, true story).
But you’d better hurry. We’re quickly reaching the tail end of pomegranate season (roughly November through February).