My first pomegranate memory was my mum telling me how her mother would by her brother and her pomegranates as a treat after a visit to the grocery store when they where little, but would make them eat the seeds using a pin; a lesson in patience and a very clever way to keep the children entertained for hours. She was a clever las.
As far as I am concerned, Pomegranates haven't been a prominent feature in South African cuisine until recent years. They are now more readily available and no longer cost the same as the rest of your fruit-shop combined - I, in fact, found the pomegranate I used for this recipe in Checkers of all places.
They really are quite an original ingredient and one that I plan to use more often; sweet, tart and crunchy they are the perfect addition to both savory and sweet dishes; cutting through rich lamb or as a quirky addition to creme brûlée. Whichever way you choose to use them, they'll bring that little something extra to your dish.
Pomegranate, feta and herb couscous salad
Ingredients: (serves 6-8 as a side)
1 cup/150g couscous
1 cup warm water
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 pomegranate (deseeded)
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cucumber (peeled, deseeded and chopped)
large handful of herbs, chopped (chives/mint/coriander/parsley - whatever you feel like)
100ml olive oil
Good grinding of salt and pepper
Place the couscous and warm water in a bowl and allow to sit for 15 minutes, meanwhile:
Prepare the remaining ingredients and place in a large serving bowl.
Using a fork, flake the couscous until all the grains have separated, then add to the other ingredients and stir through to combine.
Serve with lamb, steak or chicken or simply on it's own if you like.