Pomegranate, 3 Ways

Popping pomegranate seeds right into your mouth, with their refreshing burst of juice, is satisfying, but these little gems also add a wonderful tartness to both savory and baked dishes. In these recipes, we use them to brighten up a turmeric-spiced pistachio pilaf, a ketchup-laced veggie burger and a warm, cinnamon-y apple crisp topped with an almond-oat crumble.

Pomegranate-Pistachio Pilaf (pictured at top)
Serves: 6

1/3 cup green French lentils

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 medium onion, chopped

1 carrot, finely chopped

1 stalk celery, finely chopped

4 ounces Italian sweet or spicy sausage (optional)

1 cup brown basmati rice

1/2 cup shelled raw unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

2 sprigs thyme

1 cup pomegranate seeds

In a small saucepan, bring the lentils to a boil in about 1 cup water; reduce the heat to low and let simmer until fork-tender, about 20 minutes.

In a pot, heat the oil over medium heat, and add the onion, carrot and celery; cook until the onions are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the sausage, if using, and cook, breaking up any clumps, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in the rice, pistachios, salt, turmeric, fennel seeds and thyme; cook until the rice is opaque, about 3 minutes. Add 1 3/4 cups water and bring to a boil; cover completely and simmer over low heat until cooked, about 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and let steam for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and top with the pomegranate seeds.

Per serving: Calories 218; Fat 12 g (Saturated 3 g); Cholesterol 10 g; Sodium 605 mg; Carbohydrate 20 g; Fiber 4 g; Sugars 5 g; Protein 8 g

Veggie Burgers with Pomegranate Ketchup
Serves: 4

1 cup pomegranate juice

2 tablespoons maple sugar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 small onion, finely chopped

One 10-ounce container button mushrooms, stemmed and finely chopped

1 carrot, finely chopped

1 stalk celery, finely chopped

1 cup cooked brown rice

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour


4 multigrain English muffins, split and toasted (optional)

1/4 cup ketchup mixed with 2 tablespoons homemade pomegranate molasses

Fresh spinach leaves, for topping

Carrots, slivered, for topping

Pomegranate seeds, for topping

In a small saucepan, bring the pomegranate juice, sugar and lemon juice to a slight boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until syrupy, about 30 minutes.

In a large pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, carrot and celery; cook until the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool. Stir in the rice, oats, walnuts, flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until coarsely combined. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary. Shape the mixture into 4 burgers.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat and cook the burgers until golden, turning once, about 8 minutes total. Arrange 4 English muffin halves on plates, if using, and top with some pomegranate ketchup, the burgers, spinach leaves, carrots, pomegranate seeds, more ketchup and the remaining English muffin halves.

Per serving: Calories 438; Fat 19 g (Saturated 2 g); Cholesterol 0 g; Sodium 326 mg; Carbohydrate 68 g; Fiber 11 g; Sugars 19 g; Protein 11 g

Pomegranate-Apple Crisp
Serves: 4

For the topping:

1/4 cup quick-cooking oats

1/4 cup almond flour

2 tablespoons maple sugar

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

For the filling:

2 large apples — peeled, cored and cut into small cubes

1 cup pomegranate seeds

2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon)

1 tablespoon maple sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Make the topping: In a small bowl, stir together the oats, almond flour, maple sugar, flour, salt and cinnamon. Add the butter and, using your fingers or a fork, combine until small clumps form.

Make the filling: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a small bowl, toss together the apples, pomegranate seeds, lemon juice, maple sugar and cinnamon; divide among four 1-cup Pyrex bowls and set on a baking sheet. Bake until bubbly and golden, about 45 minutes. Let set for 5 minutes before serving.

Per serving: Calories 235; Fat 10 g (Saturated 4 g); Cholesterol 16 g; Sodium 150 mg; Carbohydrate 37 g; Fiber 5 g; Sugars 26 g; Protein 3 g


Silvana Nardone is the author of Silvana’s Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Kitchen: Timeless Favorites Transformed and the founder of Cooking for Isaiah™ gluten-free and Paleo flour and stir-and-bake mixes.

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