Every year we start our Thanksgiving planning with the best of intentions. “Last year was over-the-top. Could we please put the brakes on with the side dishes this time?” And every year we cook way more food than our extended family could possibly eat in one sitting.
Come fall, our pomegranate tree is heavy with cheerful red poms, and the kitchen table is covered with the fruit in various stages of de-seeding. My mother has mastered the art of tasting pomegranate seeds by the way. When she finds a particularly sweet batch, she saves it for eating (versus juicing) and walks around with a bowl filled with the arils, insisting that we try them.
Pomegranate seeds show up in almost everything we make this time of year. On our breakfast cereal. In green salads (great with avocados). In quesadillas. (Corn tortillas, jack cheese, salsa, pomegranate seeds—awesome!) So when my friend Suzanne H served me some of her carrot salad with pomegranate seeds the other day, my thought was, but of course!
This is just a playful take on a classic carrot salad, with a scattering of pomegranate seeds and craisins for pops of color and flavor, and some freshly squeezed lime juice and a little honey.
Late October, early November is the season for pomegranates, pinkish red orbs filled with crunchy, juicy seeds (known as arils), bursting with flavor. You can get them at most supermarkets, but if you live anywhere near where they are grown, it’s best to get them at a local farmer’s market. Here you are most likely to find the ripest pomegranates – the ones whose peels are beginning to crack open, their plump, ripe seeds expanding beyond the peel’s ability to contain them.