Sunday, January 16, 2011

Food From the Tree of Life

It's winter here in Southern California and that means two very unusual fruit items are still in season:
The Pomegranate

The Blood Orange. 

The Pomegranate has been around for centuries. The tree has even been called the Tree of Life. Some say that the apple mentioned in the bible in the Garden of Eden was actually a pomegranate, if translated more precisely.
While widely consumed in eastern cultures, and even though it was introduced here in the states in the late 1800's, it seems to really have taken off lately in the US.  I think part of that success has to do with this company: POM Wonderful
They are growers that have made the 100% natural pomegranate juice readily available and have no doubt helped spread the word about this fruit's super powers.  

It is being touted as a super food with all sorts of near miraculous powers. Its health benefits certainly give us a reason to get on board with it. For more about all the wonders of the pomegranate check out this link.

While the bottled juice is good in a pinch, it is still pasteurized. So if you want all those fantastic benefits, make sure you get the real fresh deal and buy the whole fruit.

My last blog post, how to open a pomegranate without a mess, should make that easier. It also gives ideas on how to best juice it as well.

The blood orange, or to be more specific for what I am talking about here, The Moro Blood Orange, is a type of orange that has a deep red flesh color. The flavor of a Moro is stronger in flavor and aroma than a normal orange. Also it has a distinct sweet flavor with a hint of raspberry.

While the pomegranate goes out of season in February the blood orange will be available through May, at least from our California growers that is.

The colors of these two are what drew me to put them together. But their unique tastes make them really wonderful. Here are a couple of ways to enjoy them:

Pomegranate, Blood Orange and Fennel Salad
serves two
Pomegranate, Blood Orange and Fennel Salad
I was surprised to hear R. say this was the best salad he ever had. Wow! "Light not too heavy of a dressing and a nice mix of flavors." What can I say? It is so simple too.

The Salad Ingredients:

6 cups baby lettuce. I used Mache (pronounced Mosh) also called lamb's lettuce from Trader Joe's.
   A baby romaine or an arugula would also work nicely.
1 cup very thinly sliced fennel bulb
2 blood red oranges, segmented, I sliced in half and cut out with grapefruit knife.
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup pine nuts 

Pomegranate Dressing:
1/4 cup freshly squeezed pomegranate juice
1 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp minced shallots
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Whisk together the juice, vinegar, shallots, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Pour the dressing into a bowl and then add the salad ingredients. Toss well to combine and serve.

Raw Food for Everyone: Essential Techniques and 300 Simple-to-Sophisticated RecipesThis salad was inspired by Alissa Cohen's new book,
Raw Food for Everyone.
The dressing came from there.

Pom-Orange Juice

pom- orange juice

Juice of 4 Blood Oranges
Juice of 1 Pomegranate
pinch of sea salt  (optional but it intensifies flavor)

pour into two glasses, if you feeling like sharing that is.



Frannie said...

Not sure how I found your blog... but I am now following.
I am always looking for new salad dressing recipes and interesting juice and smoothie combinations. I will keep your recipes handy when blood oranges and pomegranates are available in Georgia.

Jodi ~Getting Raw said...

So glad you found me, Frannie! Thanks for following. Salads and smoothies/juices are my staples so I will be sharing plenty of those.


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