Pomegranate Salsa

Pomegranate is one of my all-time favorite fruits of winter. It is something I buy as a special treat, one of the rare produce items I do not (and as far as I know, cannot) buy locally. So once a year, I buys a few of these beautiful fruits and savor each and every kernel.

To see whole, pomegranates do not look particularly appealing. They are ruddy and lumpy and have a somewhat awkward outie-belly-button looking thing at the top. They’re hard to peel and bruising on the outside can easily damage the inside. As with most good things, however, if you can get past the outward appearance and the time-consuming peeling, the fruit cracks open to reveal a stunning display.

Does it take quite a while to individually pluck the seeds from the rind? Yes. Is it worth every purple-fingered second? YES.

But while pomegranate is the star of this salsa show, a whole supporting cast of characters is equally important to create this surprising salsa. Bursting with vibrant colors, equally tangy, hot and sweet, and perfectly balanced against the salty crunch of a tortilla chip, this catches me pleasantly off guard with every bite.

I’ve made it for two different parties now, and it was a big hit at each of them. If you’re looking to make the most popular treat at your New Year’s Eve party, this may be your winning ticket. You’ll be looking at an empty bowl before the ball drops.

Pomegranate Salsa
Adapted from All Recipes

Note: For a more mild salsa, remove the seeds from the peppers before chopping them. Most heat from peppers comes from the seeds.

2 1/2 – 3 c pomegranate seeds (about 1 1/5 pomegranates)
1 roma (or other small) tomato, diced
3/4 c red onion, diced
1 jalapeƱo pepper, finely chopped, seeds included
1 serrano pepper, finely chopped, seeds included
grated zest of one lime, about 1 T
3 T fresh parsley, finely chopped
3 T fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 T fresh mint, finely chopped
1/8 tsp sea salt
pinch black pepper
2 T olive oil
juice of one lime, about 3 T

Peel pomegranate by gently slicing an “x” across the top of the fruit. Carefully peel away the peel and the white membranes and pluck seeds into a bowl. Rinse gently if desired.

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix thoroughly. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as desired. Cover and chill for 1-2 hours before serving. Serve with tortilla chips. 

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