QUICK NOTE ABOUT POMEGRANATES
CREAMY POMEGRANATE PARFAIT

Pomegranate, currants, almonds, papayas, and oranges shine in this easy fruit parfait. You may use regular cream cheese for the fruit sauce for a richer flavor, if you wish. It is good enough for dessert, but also great for breakfast.
Prep Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups (2 whole pomegranates) pomegranate seed pips
1/2 cup currants
3/4 cup slivered almonds
1 medium ripe papaya, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
Juice of 2 oranges (about 1/2 cup orange juice)
4 ounces low-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 dried plums
6 lime slices
12 mint leaves

Preparation:

*Gently stir together pomegranate, currants, and almonds until combined. Divide between 6 goblet glasses.
*Place papaya, orange juice, cream cheese, and cinnamon into a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process until pureed and smooth.
*Divide papaya sauce evenly between the goblets, covering the pomegranate mixture.
*Garnish each dessert with 1 dried plum, 1 lime slice, and 2 mint leaves.
*Chill for 1 hour before serving.

PEAR AND POMEGRANATE SALAD

Ingredients:

3 cups green leaf lettuce, rinsed and torn
1 Bartlett or Anjou pear
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon prepared Dijon-style mustard
1/2 tablespoon honey
ground black pepper to taste

Directions

Divide the lettuce between two bowls. Halve and core the pear, then cut each half in slices. Divide the pear slices and pomegranate seeds among the two bowls and mix gently.

Combine the vegetable oil, pomegranate juice, lemon juice, mustard, honey, and pepper in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until the dressing thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Pour the warm dressing over the salads and serve.
Since pomegranate juice has an acidic, citrusy flavor, try substituting it in citrus marinades, either whole or in part, for a flavor change.
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