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Panning for pomegranate seeds

Fine Cooking Issue 55
Photos: Scott Phillips
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With their bright sweet-sour flavor and ruby color, pomegranate seeds make a beautiful and flavorful garnish. But they can be a real mess to get out using the traditional method of cutting open the fruit and scooping out the seeds. Some of the seeds invariably burst, staining everything they touch, and there always seem to be little pieces of membrane clinging tenaciously to the seeds. Here’s a much neater way to mine the seeds from a pomegranate.

Cut off the “crown” end of the fruit, exposing the seeds below.

Lightly score the fruit from stem to crown end in several places, breaking through to the white, pithy membrane beneath the skin.

Soak the fruit in a large bowl of cool water for 5 minutes. Working under water, break the fruit apart into sections, freeing the seed clusters from the membranes.

The pomegranate seeds sink to the bottom of the bowl, and the membranes float.

Skim off and discard the membranes. Drain the seeds and lay them on paper towels to dry.


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