Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pomegranate and Papaya Salad--Fall Vitamin Fountain

Each year with a beginning of the fall I wait impatiently for pomegranates to show up. I know that some people do not appreciate them because of their "seedy", crunchy nature, facing a dilemma whether to swallow or spit their hard parts. But, to me, pomegranate is one of the most tasty fruits and, definitely, one of the healthiest.

Some people also give up on pomegranate because of the difficulty with seeding it. But, because there has been so much buzz in recent years about pomegranate's healthy aspects, some stores (e.g., Trader Joe's) carry the ready to use juicy seeds taken out of the hard pomegranate shells.

I have a new dinner recipe, involving pomegranates, waiting to be tested, but in the meantime I will share something light and supremely healthy--pomegranate and papaya salad. Both fruits are a great source of all kind of vitamins--pomegranate most of all antioxidants and papaya carotene, lycopene, vitamin A, K, potassium, and calcium.

Between the two of them I prefer pomegranate as more acidic and defined in taste and texture. But in this combination both fruits complement each other. And just a small bowl of that light fruit salad is not only a great dessert but provides a daily requirement of most vitamins.

Thanks to ginger and crushed pepper corns that salad has also a slightly spicy and warming up taste, perfect for a cold fall day.

Pomegranate and Papaya Salad
(Serves six)

1 small papaya, about 1lb,
1 pomegranate,
2 tbsp running honey,
juice from 1 lime,
1 tsp freshly grated ginger (optional),
10 grains black pepper crushed into small pieces.
1. Cut papaya in half. Using a spoon, remove seeds. Peel off each half, then cut into half slices and into smaller cubes. Place them in a large bowl.
2. Cut the top of the pomegranate off and then cut the fruit in half. Using hands, break each half into quarters. Using fingers, scoop the seeds into a bowl, trying to leave the white membranes out. Another method is to do that part in the bowl of water--seeds will land at the bottom of the bowl and membranes will float on the surface. Place the seeds in the bowl with papaya cubes.

3. Add to the bowl 2 tbsp of honey, juice from one lime, and grated ginger, if used. Mix gently all the ingredients. Let the whole salad stand aside for about 30 minutes. It can be stored in a refrigerator overnight. Before serving, decorate the top of the salad with crushed pepper corns and fresh mint leaves.

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