At the tender age of twelve, sitting alone in a dark movie theatre lost in Franco Zeffirelli’s ‘Romeo and Juliet‘, I was completely seduced after Juliet said,
“Wilt thou be gone? It is not yet near day.
It was the nightingale, and not the lark,
That pierc’d the fearful hollow of thine ear.
Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate tree.
Believe me, love, it was the nightingale”
It wasn’t the bedroom scene that had caught my imagination. It was the fruit tree. It sounded so exotic and sensual. It’s always been all about the food!
Christmas, of the same year, I walked into my grandmother Chase’s kitchen and saw what I believed to be a real pomegranate sitting on her counter. Understand, up until that moment I had never seen one in the flesh! My grandmother confirmed the stunningly beautiful fruit’s identity and then proceeded to teach me how to eat it.
I loved how impossible it was to eat it with any semblance of neatness. The red juice covered my fingertips, leaving them stained and guilty. It left my lips the most beautiful shade of purple. To a little girl of twelve, who was years away from being permitted to wear lipstick, the effect was magical.
I still love to break open a December pomegranate. When I want a bit more pomp and circumstance, I make this salsa.
Makes 2 cups
2 large pomegranates, seeded
5 clementines, sectioned
Small bunch cilantro, cleaned and chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 lemon, zested
1 lime, juiced and zested
Place all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and toss gently.
Allow flavours to mature for 2 hours at room temperature or up to 4 hours in the refrigerator
Serve with taco chips.
THE LOVE: Seeding your own pomegranates rather than buying prepackaged pomegranate seeds produces a fresher, juicier salsa.
Thanks for reading.