Pomegranates are among my favorite fruits. That’s because of their seeds—beautiful garnet jewels with a tangy pop and just a little crunch. These seeds, called arils, are surrounded by a membrane and encased in ruby-red juice. (And yes, you can safely eat the whole thing.)
However, whether you’re eating them as a snack or using them in a recipe, getting the pomegranate seeds out of the fruit is half the battle—a battle that usually results in a juice-stained mess. But it doesn’t have to.
Sign up for the Mediterranean Way newsletter
Bring the vibrant, healthful recipes of the Mediterranean to your kitchen.
There are several different ways to remove the seeds from a pomegranate. You can cut it into segments or buy a special tool to do it for you. (If you’re going the gadget route, we recommend the Shoham’s ART [Aril Removal Tool].)
But for a mess-free method you can do without a special tool, follow these steps:
- Halve the pomegranate crosswise.
- Submerge it in a bowl of water and gently pull it apart. The seeds will sink, separating from the bitter pith and membrane that holds them.
If you don’t plan to use them right away, dry the arils on a layer of paper towels before storing them in the fridge.
From there, choices abound. Use the juice to make Grenadine, a flavorful powerhouse for cocktails, or make a Tart Pomegranate Molasses to coat meats and seafood, such as Pomegranate Roasted Salmon with Lentils and Chard.
More MediterraneanA highly anticipated follow-up to our best seller The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook, this book lifts the lid on what ingredients fit into a Mediterranean diet (incorporating foods such as salmon and avocado) and includes 225 brand-new plant-forward recipes.
The fruity, slightly acidic flavors of pomegranate juice pair well with many foods, such as our Braised Brisket with Pomegranate, Cumin, and Cilantro. Here, we use pomegranate two ways. We brighten up the sauce with the juice and garnish the dish with the seeds, which offer welcome color and texture.
Or use them in a sweet application. Our Pink Peppercorn–Pomegranate Panna Cotta plays with sweet and spicy, steeping peppercorns in the panna cotta and cutting its richness with pomegranate juice.