Pomegranate seeds are gems of fall, when their fruity, sweet-tart flavors brighten up salads, drinks, desserts and more. Popular in Middle Eastern cuisine, the juice from these tiny seeds is a key ingredient in marinades and glazes, too. Here’s everything you need to know about these cool-weather favorites, along with some of our most delicious recipes.
What to look for: Deeply colored, large fruits, which will have a more of the clear red, juicy, crisp pulp. Heavy fruits promise more juice. The tough skin should be thin and nearly bursting with seeds. Press the fruits gently; if they release a powdery cloud, return them to the bin — the pulp is dry as dust.
Prep tips: To seed a pomegranate, cut off the peel near the blossom end and remove it along with the bitter white pith. Lightly score the remaining peel into quarters from end to end. Working over a bowl, carefully break the fruit apart with your hands. Bend the peel inside out, and use your fingertips to lightly brush the seeds from the white membranes. Seeds can be frozen for about 3 months.
See some of our favorite ways to use pomegranate seeds and juice:
|In a Beverage
Pomegranate juice lends a fruity note to this champagne cocktail. It also mixes with other fruits in this fresh juice, a festive, non-alcoholic sipper.
|On a Salad
Fresh pomegranate seeds make a beautiful alternative to dried fruits, such as currants, on autumn salads. Try this one with endives and persimmons, or a simpler salad with spinach and pears.
Sweet pomegranates brighten up earthy grains. Our lamb and farro salad makes good use of the colorful seeds.
|As a Glaze
Concentrated pomegranate juice cuts the richness of fatty meats. Here, it’s the perfect complement to grilled duck breasts.
|In a Spread
Pomegranate jelly is a delicious alternative to your usual flavors — and it still tastes great with nut butter. Fresh juice has more natural pectin than the purchased kind, so use that if you can.