This time of year, you see LOTS of recipes that involve pomegranate seeds – in fact, there’s a good handful right here on this blog (and in our Holiday Recipe Round-up!). Pomegranate seeds are beautiful, delicious, nutritious, and FESTIVE! They’re great to have around to add to all kinds of dishes and drinks.
However… pomegranates are also pretty weird. They have a thick, tough skin that you have to get through to get to the seeds; and attempting to seed a pomegranate can quickly make your kitchen look like a crime scene, if you’re not careful! Those little seeds pop pretty easily, and their juice splatters and stains like nothing you’ve ever seen.
It’s pretty simple to quickly and easily seed a pomegranate, if you know how. I keep a couple in my fridge throughout the holiday season, and I throw the seeds onto anything – salads, desserts, and even cocktails (I love to drop a handful of seeds into a glass of champagne). So, let’s go through the process!
1.) Start by cutting your pomegranate into quarters, using a sharp chef’s knife. Once you’ve done that, move the quarters to a plate, and rinse your cutting board and knife (if you let the juice sit on your cutting board for more than a minute or two, it WILL stain; it won’t harm the board at all, it’ll just be pink for a while).
2.) Fill a large bowl about 2/3 of the way with cool water. Working with one quarter at a time, submerge the pomegranate into the water, and break the segment apart with your hands; it should break up fairly easily. (Please note that your hands and the fruit should be IN the water, not OUT of the water, as depicted below. It was hard to take photos of my own hands during the process.)
3.) Keeping the pomegranate submerged, use your fingers to gently pop the seeds away from the pith. As you work, you’ll notice more and more pockets of seeds, buried within the pith – keep going until all the seeds have been removed. The seeds will sink to the bottom of the bowl, and the pith will float to the top.
4.) Continue until all the segments have been seeded. You’ll notice little clouds of red juice in the water as you go – just think, those seeds could have been splattering dark red juice all over your face and clothes and walls! This is why working under water makes a lot of sense.
5.) Pour the water (and with it, the pith) off the seeds. Drain them well, and store in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready for them!
Congratulations, you’ve successfully seeded your first pomegranate – and your kitchen doesn’t look like anything met its untimely death! Good work.
Go forth, and enjoy the most festive fruit in all the land,