an adventure into my cookbook collection: soul-searching, doing things differently & the truths I learn along the way...

deseeding pomegranates is feminine & erotic, unless you hit them with a wooden spoon...


Saturday, 12 February 2011

Comfort food part 3 - Pomegranate salsa

This is comfort food in a different sort of way. It’s incredibly fresh and revitalising, and will generate lots of ego-boosting compliments.  I wont get into whether ego-boosting compliments is a reason to cook for people, it comes under the whole vanity project thing, and just gets depressing.  I’d like to think that I love cooking for people because I really like making people happy, and feeding them in a jewish-mother kind of way, but I cant deny that being told the food you make is delicious doesn’t make me feel great.  I seem to spend so much of my day with a cloud over my head, so every little helps I guess.  Part of the reason why this salad is great is that it seems to go with everything.

·     1 pomegranate
·     1 cucumber
·     3-4 spring onions
·     juice and zest of half a lime (oh santa please can I have a zester.  While peeling and chopping zest does show off my awesome knife skills, its not so efficient…)
·     handful of mint, chopped

Chop the spring onions and cucumber into small bits, making sure to use the green of the spring onion too.  I tend to cut the seeds out of the cucumber as I find them too watery and annoying, but I leave that decision up to you.  If you happen to have a hamster, save them a slice of cucumber and 1 or 2 pomegranate seeds.

Now I don’t mean to get all weird, but for me there is something incredibly feminine and slightly erotic about deseeding pomegranates.  Pomegranates have such a resonance with femininity through culture and mythology, representing fertility and a certain element of temptation.  I’m sure there are some interpretations of the Garden of Eden where the fruit is a pomegranate, and of course there is Persephone in the Underworld.  Somehow when deseeding pomegranates I feel incredibly calm, and feminine.  I’m sure this all makes me very strange, maybe I’ve just been single for too long.  I had a similar experience a few months ago when I was asked to fill up a very large urn for a reception at work.  It was so large that we had to use jugs, and all the water jugs we had were that very traditional amphora shape.  I noticed that I was pouring the water in a similar pose to the women in typical art nouveau or Aquarius imagery, and I felt incredibly feminine, and not in a betrayal of my gender empowerment kind of way or anything.  This is turning into a very odd post…

Anyway, to make the salsa, mix everything together, at least 1 hour before you want to eat it, so the flavours have a chance to settle.  And that’s it.  Some people find deseeding pomegranates quite tricky what with all the pith, but if you take your time and are methodical it should be fine.  Some suggest bashing them with a wooden spoon to get the seeds out, but I really don’t get this.  I have tried it and I cant say it made any difference, other than being messier and totally ruining the zen-like femininity of the moment.  And I’m not sure why the spoon has to be wooden.  You can also deseed over a large bowl of water, being that the pith is supposed to float to the top or something, but this then washes off some of the delicious juice bleeding out the cut sides of the fruit. Take the seeds out over bowl you are going to use, and be careful and it’ll be fine.  Just don’t wear a white shirt.

Proserpine: Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882). Oil on canvas, 1874

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