Sunday, January 13, 2013

Green Peas and Pomegranate Arils

I mentioned the other day that I made a green pea appetizer spread. Oh man, it is so good. I baked a new batch of No-Knead bread just for that. The recipe came from Michael Symon, on The Chew, but I changed it a bit. The ingredients are there, but the amounts are different. As with most recipes, you try something and add a little of this or that. Whatever tastes good. This is the recipe as I made it. It's naturally gluten-free, too.

Green Pea, Feta and Mint Spread

Green Pea, Feta and Mint Spread

1 cup frozen sweet green peas, thawed
3/4 cup feta cheese
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons olive oil, or more, as needed
salt and pepper

Thaw the peas under running water. Place them in a food processor with all ingredients except the salt and pepper. Process until well mixed, but still a little chunky. Check to see if salt is needed; the feta cheese might be salty. I put in 1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt without tasting and it was too salty, so check first. Add in pepper as desired and process briefly to combine.

Okay, that said, I didn't have any lemons in the house. I usually keep limes rather than lemons, but I didn't even have any limes. What I used was Boyajian Lemon Oil, about 3 drops, cause that stuff is really strong. Do not try using lemon extract or flavoring or it will be awful. This lemon oil, for anyone who has not tried it, is pure oil of the fruit and looks, smells and tastes just like concentrated essence of the zest of the fruit. Three drops was good. I might have been able to use 4 drops, but I stopped while ahead. Next time I will use real lemon zest because I think it will make a spectacular spread just that much better.

Pomegranate Arils
This morning I decided to open up a pomegranate I had gotten a few days ago. I had it on the counter so I would remember and use it. Today was the day. I have liked pomegranate arils in past, but they were a little distractingly crunchy. I don't know if this pomegranate was more ripe, but these were sweet and only minimally crunchy. They were downright delicious. I got all the little arils out. There were two whole cups of them. That was one large pomegranate.

Supremed Grapefruit and Pomegranate Arils for breakfast
By the way, in case you didn't know, those little things are not seeds. Arils are a covering for the seed of some fruits. The aril itself is attached in some way to the plant and the seed is inside the aril covering. Mace is an aril to the nutmeg. The cotton fibers are the aril to the cotton seed.

So there I stood, tasting how sweet those little arils were and thinking I had planned to have a grapefruit for breakfast. I decided to have both. I supremed the grapefruit segments and put some pomegranate arils on top. It was, I believe, one of the prettiest breakfasts I have had.

My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. Join me at A Harmony of Flavors Website, on Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I am also on a spiritual journey and hope you will join me at my new blog, An Eagle Flies.