Every fall I’m excited to see pomegranates in the grocery stores for this short window of time. I fell in love with pomegranates while living in Florence, Italy, in 1989, although I don’t remember the exact first time I tried some seeds. In the years since, I’ve been happy to see pomegranate come up as a Superfood, brimming with vitamins and antioxidents and hailed as helpful in the fights against heart disease and cancers.
I like to drink pomegranate juice and cook with pomegranate molasses, too, but if you can get past the seeding chore, raw pomegranate seeds add a delightful sweet-tart perkiness when sprinkled into salads, particularly when served with nuts and a soft chevre goat cheese or brie. Cooking with pomegranate seeds adds a whole ‘nother dimension to pomegranates.
Here’s a fun recipe for cooking with pomegranate seeds that I originally debuted in my newsletter:
Orange Roughy with Pomegranate Seeds and Macadamia Nuts
Recent studies have shown that eating macadamia nuts can help lower cholesterol, and the good fats fill you up and keep you satiated. But I eat them because I love the decadent flavor!
Pomegranate seeds give a tartness that offsets the earthiness of the green chiles. The unexpected buttery richness of the macadamia nuts adds another layer of flavor, and their addictive crunch contrasts with the sweet and smooth bananas. Though the chard was a little brown and soggy-looking, it was delicious tasting. Probably Brussels sprouts would have held up better. Good substitutions for macadamia nuts might be pistachios or hazelnuts, and potatoes or plantains for the bananas.
1 Tbsp. coconut oil or other oil
1/2-3/4 lb. orange roughy or other fish fillets
1/2 cup macadamia nuts
1 8 oz. can roasted and diced green chiles, or use a fresh chile
seeds from 3/4 pomegranate
2 bananas, sliced on the bias
Swiss chard, de-spined, chopped roughly
1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise, then sliced
sea salt and ground black pepper
– Preheat the oven to 450° F.
– Wipe the inside of a 2-quart cast iron Dutch oven and lid with coconut oil, reserving about 1/4 tsp.
– Place the fish filets in the pot.
– Close the Macadamia nuts into a ziptop baggie after squeezing out the air and smash the nuts with something heavy (a Dutch oven? a rolling pin?) until the nuts are in smaller pieces. Pour nuts into a small bowl and add the green chiles and pomegranate seeds. Mix together gently and spread half over the fish with the rest of the coconut oil.
– Layer the banana and zucchini slices on top of and around the fish. Spoon the rest of the nut and seed mixture over all. Top with the chard, filling the pot until it is full. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
– Cover and bake for about 45 minutes, or until 3 minutes after the aroma wafts from the oven. Serve immediately.