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/

Ricotta Flatbread with Pomegranate Salsa

It’s late fall again and the beginning of my favorite time of year for cooking. There’s such a great variety of produce piled up in the markets having their “it” moment right now it’s almost overwhelming. I want to gather everything up and devour it all before it’s gone.

I’m thinking of the fruits that were recently harvested – apples and pears that haven’t been in cold storage for months and months; the last of the late season figs, and the fleeting appearance of big, beautiful jeweled-red pomegranates.

Ever since I first made this recipe for Pomegranate Relish from chef Suzanne Goin’s cookbook Sunday Suppers at Lucques it’s been a favorite. I made it this time around with some dried cranberries to top some creamy ricotta-topped flatbread.

This month I’m sharing a few other favorite recipes and ideas for Thanksgiving entertaining at the Wisconsin Cheese blog - go check it out.

Ricotta Flatbread with Pomegranate Salsa

Yield: 6 - 8 servings

Ingredients

  1. ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  2. ½ cup dried, sweetened cranberries; roughly chopped
  3. 1 shallot, finely chopped
  4. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  5. 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  6. 1 tablespoon honey
  7. 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
  8. 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest strips
  9. Pinch salt
  10. 1 oval pre-baked flatbread, such as naan or pocketless pita
  11. 8 ounces Bel Gioioso Ricotta con Latte
  12. ½ cup baby arugula

Instructions

  1. Combine pomegranate seeds, cranberries, shallot, oil, vinegar, honey, parsley, orange zest and salt in a bowl.
  2. Place flatbread on a preheated grill rack or baking stone in a 450-degree oven; toast until warm and edges are lightly toasted, 5 – 10 minutes.
  3. Spoon ricotta over warm flatbread and spread lightly. Arrange arugula over ricotta; cut into serving pieces. Top each slice with salsa.
http://familystylefood.com/2012/11/ricotta-flatbread-with-pomegranate-salsa/

How to Juice a Pomegranate


Depending on who you listen to, getting the juice out of a pomegranate can be a messy, daunting task, right up there with hacking open stubborn coconuts with a machete. (see my friend Jaden’s very funny post about coconuts)

For example, in my go-to guide, The Produce Bible (a beautifully photographed encyclopedia of all things fruit, vegetable, herbal and nutty) author Leanne Kitchen first warns that pomegranate juice will permanently stain your clothing. She goes on to describe a juicing method, which involves peeling the sectioned fruit while submerging it in a bowl of water, collecting the seeds that float to the top and finally, chopping them in a food processor to collect the juice. Okaaay. Seems like a lot of work.

And the New Joy of Cooking (NJOC) not only includes the method above for seed extraction, but alternatively has you rolling the fruit around on the counter to release the juices, quartering them, picking out the seeds, wrapping them up in cheesecloth and then squeezing the bundle really hard over a bowl.

While I admit that I’m somewhat of a purist – I mean, most sensible people would just go out and buy a bottle of juice – I’m also lazy. I want fresh-squeezed pomegranate juice, and I don’t want any trouble, hear? Why make things so complicated?

When I saw a recipe I needed to try – Pomegranate Sorbet in A Passion for Ice Cream, I decided to juice my own darn pomegranates. I also happened to have a lot of them on hand – Costco had flats at a bargain price.

My easy-peasy method is simply to cut them in halves (or into quarters if they are Really Big Pomegranates) and juice them in my electric juicer. No mess, not much fuss. There was a little bit of splashing, but I assure you, no clothing was harmed during the filming of this episode.

I found that 3 pomegranates gave me a generous 2 cups of juice, just what I needed to make the sorbet. The NJOC did say that crushing the seeds can release tannin, resulting in bitter juice; but I didn’t find that to be a problem – I must have a gentle juicer.


Pomegranates are in the last throes of their season now – but if you do find some in the market you can refrigerate them for up to a month, easily. Of course, you can make this gorgeous, jewel-colored sorbet with store bought juice, too. Just make sure you buy pure juice without added sugar and other kinds of juices.

Pomegranate Sorbet
adapted from A Passion for Ice Cream by Emily Luchetti

3/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 cups pure pomegranate juice (fresh or bottled)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Whisk together the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer until sugar is dissolved. Transfer syrup to a Pyrex or stainless steel bowl. Stir in the pomegranate juice, lemon juice and salt. Refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours. Churn in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Scrape the sorbet into a freezer-safe container and freeze until scoopable, about 3 hours, before serving.

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