pomegranate salsa

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Pomegranates are one of my top favorite winter fruits. The arils are packed with flavor as well as flavonoids, a type of antioxidant that counteracts some types of cancer radials. I’ve been sprinkling them on different types of dishes, and found that they go well with avocado. Here’s a quick little recipe for a simple pomegranate salsa, an easy salsa or side with chips/crackers for the holidays!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, chopped & seeds removed
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • juice of 1 lime
  • dash of salt & pepper

Directions: To remove arils from pomegranate,  I score the fruit into 4 sections, submerge each section under water, and gently pick out the arils. Once the avocado, onion, jalapeño, and cilantro are prepped, toss them along with the pomegranate arils into a bowl. Squeeze in lime juice, add salt & pepper, and give another toss. Add more jalapeño, lime, salt and/or pepper to taste.

persimmon crumble

persimmon-6persimmon-1persimmon-3persimmon-4Persimmons are really interesting and versatile wintertime fruits. They are the national fruit of Japan, but originate in China. The first one I’ve ever eaten actually made my mouth feel numb. I steered clear for a while, thinking I had some weird allergy or genetic thing, until I found a little more about them. There are 2 varieties: Hachiya (astringent) and Fuyu (non-astringent). Hachiya is acorn shaped and bitter/mouth-numbing before it’s ripe. That is definitely what I originally ate, and it was unpleasant. However, after you let it ripen in a paper bag for a week or two, it’ll actually taste rich and sweet. The Fuyu variety is more squat and rounded, and is pleasingly sweet when ripe, but still delicate and slightly sweet before fully ripe. It is characteristic of an apple or plum, and can be used in a variety of ways.

I’ve been trying things with fuyus and ended up really liking this crumble. It’s a spinoff of apple crumble, still utilizing cinnamon and nutmeg, but with added coconut flakes and coconut oil to compliment the persimmons. I tried leaving out butter and using only coconut oil, but found out NO. A good crumble or crisp needs that butter. Also, I used slightly (not fully) ripe fuyus. This would be great with ripe fuyus or hachiyas as well, just leave out the sugar in the fruit filling.

Ingredients – makes 4 ramekins or 1 small pan (8″x 8″)

Fruit filling

  • 2 fuyu persimmons, cored and sliced into thin chunks
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon

Crumble

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp cold butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Topping

  • vanilla ice cream
  • 1 cup pomegranate arils
  • dash of ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Toss all fruit filling ingredients together in a bowl to evenly coat persimmon chunks, and layer into ramekins or pan.
  2. Toss all crumble ingredients together in a bowl, working butter chunks into mixture until it looks like little pebbles. I find it easiest to do with my hands. Pour into each ramekin or into the pan, mixing it up with persimmons, then topping it off with a layer of the crumble mix.
  3. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes, until crumble is lightly browning. Once out of the oven, let cool for a few minutes and top with vanilla ice cream, a dash  of cinnamon, and pomegranate arils.

Enjoy, and let me know your favorite way to cook or bake with persimmons!

grilled radicchio salad

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Let’s get right to it. Fall is moving into winter, and this salad could definitely work well for the holidays as a nice precursor to the main dishes. It could also be easy for a weeknight dinner. Radicchio is excellent grilled; it takes on a nutty taste. I added some blue cheese yogurt drizzle, broccoli buds, pumpkin seeds, and pomegranate arils to make it a hearty, flavorful salad.

Ingredients  –  serves 2-4

salad

  • 2 radicchio heads
  • 1 cup of finely cut broccoli buds
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate arils
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper

blue cheese yogurt drizzle

  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 oz crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

Directions

  1. Slice radicchio heads in half lengthwise, leaving the core intact. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Prepare blue cheese yogurt drizzle by whisking all ingredients together in a bowl. Add more blue cheese if a thicker consistency is desired.
  3. Grill radicchio on medium heat until each side begins to get tender and slightly brown. Turn back to flat side, and up the heat to med/high for the final few minutes to get some grill marks.
  4. When grilling is done, quickly serve up with blue cheese yogurt drizzle, broccoli buds, pumpkin seeds, and pomegranate arils.  Cut halves into quarters or even smaller chunks if desired.

Happy holiday planning!