Ingredients are often described as ‘giving a burst of flavour,’ however it’s especially reflective of the experience of biting into the ruby red seeds, also known as arils, of the pomegranate fruit.
Just a quick Internet search for pomegranate can seduce you into a state of inspired excitement. Their vibrant crimson colour and the infinite uses for their equally sweet and tart seeds is rather mind-boggling. A good sprinkling of them atop roast chicken, braised short ribs, a cracked wheat salad, homemade pizza or cheesecake and extracting their juice for sauces, vinaigrettes or cocktails (these are just a few ideas of how to use them at home) can elevate a plain dish into a gorgeous, festive one with a satisfying crunch.
It is timely that pomegranates are turning up as our hero ingredient for the first month of the new year because for centuries this ‘jewel of the kitchen’ has and continues to be symbolic of hope, prosperity, abundance and a joyous future; wishes that we all hold for ourselves and extend to family and friends at this time of the year.
Similar in size to an apple, the pomegranate or ‘seeded apple’ contains around 600 seeds and has long been appreciated in the Middle East, Asia and eastern Mediterranean; Western cultures the last to be taken by their treasure trove-like charm. Enclosed by a waxy, leathery skin, with a crown at its head, it takes a little bit of know-how to access the kernels within the unassuming pomegranate but there’s no doubt that uncovering Mother Nature's winter jewels is a special and worthwhile culinary experience.
Pomegranates offer lively colour, flavour and texture to winter dishes and pair nicely with chicken, duck, game birds, lamb, cous cous, orange, coconut, walnuts, pine nuts and spices and herbs like cumin, sumac, cinnamon and parsley. Our January guests are in for a treat with a menu inspired by the festive pomegranate.
Reservations for our January menu open on Tuesday 2nd December 2014.