pomegranate panna cotta

The pomegranates were ripening, falling to the ancient staircase below with a thump. The heavy fruit split apart on impact, exposing crimson seeds and fleshy insides.  There was a tree laden with fruit just outside the casale in Tuscany – the magical place where I was staying almost exactly one month ago.

The skin of these fruits wasn’t the familiar mottled, deeply red color of the ones I buy in late fall from produce bins in the grocery store; these were yellow tinged with green, looking more like extra-large Golden Delicious apples than what I’ve come to recognize as pomegranates. Pomegranates are melograno in Italian, derived from the Latin word for apple.

When I first noticed the tree I didn’t recognize the fruits; it wasn’t until I saw them cracked open on the ground that I saw what they were. The property, surrounded by vineyards, was outlined with hedges of bay laurel, rosemary and oleander. All plants that love the Mediterranean climate as much as pomegranates do. [Read more...]

italian summer country cake

I’m eating a piece of cake, remembering when my kids had birthday parties…the clearing of the table right after the cake, just before the presents, and all those paper plates with beheaded cupcakes on them.

Little cakes in paper liners with their fancy frosted tops chewed right off. I know some grown-up children who still consider cake a mere delivery vehicle for cream, fudge or frosting, but for me it’s always been the opposite.  As a girl, I’d scrape off the frosting and go all in for cake.  [Read more...]

shaved carrots, tangerine and pomegranate

The last farmer’s market of the year where I am in New Jersey was last week. I’m still wrapping my head around that fact…can’t we push the “Pause”button so that I can resume my summer?

No? Well, okay. I hereby accept there was a major interruption in my usual flow of life. Moving on!

While living in the moment, I scooped up this gorgeous bunch of heirloom carrots in rainbow colors before the market closed.

I was going to throw them in a roasting pan – my usual modus operandi – but changed my mind when I saw the jeweled-colored ribbons that coiled on my cutting board as I started to peel the carrots, and decided to make a salad instead.

Tangerine juice is super-sweet, especially so after reducing to a light syrup. It makes a pure, simple dressing when paired with olive oil and plays so nicely with carrots.

I can see this salad taking up residence on my table for the next few months; starting with Thanksgiving and all through the holiday season.

shaved carrots, tangerine and pomegranate

Yield: 2 - 4 servings

Multicolored carrots look absolutely beautiful in this salad, but of course regular carrots will work just as well. The easiest way to get a good pile of ribbons is to choose those that are about 7" long and 1 1/2 " in diameter. Also, look for tangerines that are juicy. Seedless clementines, which are perfect for eating out of hand, will not yield enough juice for the dressing.

Ingredients

  1. ¾ teaspoon coriander seed
  2. 3 juicy tangerines, such as Murcott or Satsuma variety
  3. 1 teaspoon finely chopped shallot
  4. 1 teaspoon honey
  5. Kosher salt
  6. 4 medium carrots (about 4 ounces each); scrubbed
  7. 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  8. Fresh pomegranate seeds

Instructions

  1. Put the coriander seeds in a small (5 - 8-inches) skillet set over medium heat. Toast about 5 minutes - just until the seeds become fragrant; remove from the pan.
  2. Halve 2 of the tangerines and squeeze the juice into the same skillet. Bring to a boil; reduce to 2 tablespoons.
  3. Coarsely crush the coriander seeds in a mortar and pestle or by using the flat side of a large chef’s knife on a cutting board. Combine the coriander with the reduced tangerine juice, shallot, honey and ½ teaspoon salt in a bowl.
  4. Peel the remaining tangerine and divide into segments; add to the juice mixture.
  5. If your carrots are especially hairy give them a quick surface peel with a swivel peeler and discard. Shave the carrots into ribbons, turning to include all sides (you’ll be left with a slender core, which is the cook’s treat).
  6. Pile the carrot ribbons into a large mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Add a good pinch of salt and gently massage with your hands to coat. Pour the tangerine mixture over and toss again.
  7. Serve the carrot salad with some pomegranate seeds sprinkled on top.
http://familystylefood.com/2013/11/shaved-carrots-tangerine-and-pomegranate/