i don’t have a recipe for you this week, but i wanted to introduce a new column called “in season.” this past summer and fall, i really enjoyed snapping photos of the fruits and vegetables that we found each week at the farmer’s market and occasionally sharing them in the “from the market” column. but now that all the markets here are closed for the winter, i’m missing that a little bit. what i love most about markets is going back each week and seeing what’s new and what’s not there anymore. i love the true seasonality of it all. what makes a purple heirloom tomato taste so good is you can only get it in july, and fall just wouldn’t be fall without everything butternut squash and pumpkin.
unfortunately, it’s not always like that in the supermarket, but if you look closely, you can still find a few things here and there. i’ve come to learn that what makes eating a particular fruit or vegetable so special, even if you have to buy it at the grocery store, is enjoying it exactly when it’s meant to be enjoyed, in it’s peak season.
so, “in season” has a two-fold purpose. first, to showcase different produce in the seasons they were meant to be enjoyed in, and second, to practice with food photography. photographing fruits and vegetables is great for practicing because it challenges me to really focus on the details of the produce itself, rather than fidgeting with styling or trying to find the perfect dish to serve something in.
i wanted to start this series with pomegranates because it’s one of the few things in the grocery store that you can get only during its season. you can get tomatoes, apples, greens, and citrus pretty much year-round, even though all these things have distinct seasons. but pomegranates you only see during the late fall – early winter, approximately november-january or so.
my dad was actually the first one in my family to eat a pomegranate. i remember thinking it looked like way too much work for a seemingly tiny amount of actual fruit, but then i tried it, and it was pretty much love. since then, i’ve gotten k hooked too and we buy these things every chance we get. they can be a little pricey, but if you shop around, you can usually find them for under $2/each, and if you live in omaha, we’ve seen them at aldi for around 75 cents!
pomegranates are often touted as a superfood, and they’re full of antioxidants, vitamin c, potassium, and are even a good source of fiber. we usually just buy them whole and eat the seeds (called arils) as a snack, but they’re also great over oatmeal or cereal, and go well paired with other fall foods like winter squash and whole grains like farro.
if you’re still not convinced and think they still look like a little too much work for your liking (here’s a simple way to seed one, by the way), next time you’re in the grocery store, at least buy a bottle of 100% pomegranate juice (look for the POM brand) and make yourself a pomegranate mimosa. or buy just the seeds and try out this apple pomegranate galette, which i think would be a perfect christmas dessert.
p.s. what fruit or vegetable would you like to see featured next? maybe something a little weird you’ve always wanted to try but didn’t know how to cook/eat it? let us know!