Recipes tap pomegranate benefit, taste uniqueness

Since my stuffing/dressing column, I learned Southerners also call dressing stuffing and Northerners have dressing and stuffing recipes.

Judging the reactions of my readers, this issue requires more research. What do you think my chances are for a grant to further study this subject? Moving on ...

Pomegranates are in season and steadily growing in popularity because of their arils’ (seeds) delicious snappy taste and nutritional benefits.

Wear a body bib if seeding pomegranates the old fashioned way: score, peel and seed. Or try the Pomegranate Associations’ newer underwater method underwater (the pomegranate, not you).

For the underwater method, score one fresh pomegranate, and place in bowl of water. Break open underwater to free arils. The arils will sink to bottom of bowl. The membrane floats to the top. Sieve and put arils in bowl.

New Twist on Stuffed Celery/Endive

• 1/2 cup arils/seeds
• Celery and/or endive leaves
• 1/2 cup cream cheese (1/3 less fat)
• 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese or Romano
• 1 tablespoon low fat mayo or sour cream
• Finely sliced chives or greens from green onions
• 2 tablespoons finely chopped toasted sliced almonds

Soften cream cheese, mix with Parmesan or Romano shredded cheese, adding a little mayo or sour cream to spreading consistency, add almonds and chives. Spread in celery or small endive leaves and top with pomegranate seeds.

Dixie note: This recipe also is good with dried cranberries.

POM Spinach Dip

From http://www.wonderfulpom.com.

• 1 cup arils from 1–2 large POM Wonderful Pomegranates
• 1 8-ounce package cream cheese or 1 cup cottage cheese
• 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed
• 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
• 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
• 1 cup mayonnaise
• 1 6.5-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

Vegetable Dippers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Seed pomegranates using your preferred method.

Mix cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, garlic, Swiss cheese, chopped spinach, mayonnaise, artichokes and arils.

Spread in 1-quart baking dish/ 9-inch glass pie pan. Bake until bubbly around edges and cheese has melted, about 15 minutes.

Serve with fresh vegetables to dip.

Dixie note: use low fat cottage cheese, artichokes in water, low fat mayo.

Long Grain and Wild Rice Salad with Blue Cheese, Cranberries and Walnuts

From http://www.kraftkitchens.com.

• 1/2 cup long-grain white rice uncooked
• 1/4 cup wild rice, uncooked
• 2/3 cup Athenos Crumbled Blue Cheese
• 1/2 cup dried cranberries
• 1/2 cup Planters Walnut Pieces, toasted
• 2 green onions, diagonally sliced
• 1/2 cup Seven Seas Red Wine Vinaigrette

Cook rices in separate saucepans as directed on packages. Cool slightly.

Mix white/wild rice, cheese, cranberries, walnuts and onions in medium bowl. Add dressing; mix lightly. Cover.

Refrigerate 1 hour to blend flavors. Serve on lettuce-covered salad plates.

Dixie note: A bed of dark greens mixed with baby spinach makes a beautiful holiday presentation. This recipe also is good with a raspberry vinaigrette and almonds.

Ideas for pomegranate arils

Snack crackers are delicious spread with a flavored cream cheese, topped with pomegrantate seeds

Toss into salads with dark greens and nuts.

Toss into sauces. They are delicious with seafood and poultry.

Add to citrus salads.

Top ice cream, gelato or cheesecake.

Make vinaigrette with POM juice, balsamic vinegar and oil.

Top steel cut oats.

Toss with saut&233;ed green beans, garlic and almonds.

Make pomegranate salsa.


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