Monday 2 December 2019

It's All A Bit Seedy

Do you know the Greek myth of Persephone? Daughter of Zeus and Demeter, she was abducted by Hades and taken down to the Underworld. Demeter, the goddess of agriculture and harvest, is distraught, and searches everywhere for her child, neglecting her responsibilities to make the crops grow. Eventually she finds out where Persephone is, and the girl returns- but Hades has tricked her into eating six pomegranate seeds. So for six months of the year Persephone must return to him in the Underworld, and during that time, Demeter is sad, and the earth experiences winter, and little or no crops are harvested...This was the story I was told as a child. But I had never seen or tasted a pomegranate. I doubt that my Grandad, who told me the story, had ever eaten one either.
I knew that the name came from two Latin words meaning apple and seeds - and that "garnets" - the dark red jewels beloved of the Victorians - get their name from their appearance. They look just like these seeds. But it is only in recent years that I've found these fruit in the supermarket and occasionally purchased them
Just before I came back from Manchester, I went into Morrisons to buy a few groceries. I'd found a recipe requiring 100g pomegranate seeds.
I had two choices
I could buy a packet of seeds weighing 100g for £1.25, or I could buy a whole fruit for 70p.
You will not be surprised that I went for the cheaper option.
It was cheaper
The only packaging was the skin which Nature had given it
The seeds inside weighed considerably more than 100g.
A win-win situation
[although I did splash some red juice on my best apron]
It did not take long to get the seeds out [I used Jamie's method of inverting half over a bowl and whacking it with a wooden spoon]
Why would anyone go for the other option? - I suppose they might be really pressed for time. But they cost more to buy, and the plastic packaging adds to the landfill and pollution. Pomegranates do look like apples, but with a funny little coronet.Anyway, here's the tasty recipe 
Aubergines with Lamb and Pomegranate
2 aubergines, halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and black pepper
1 onion, finely chopped
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon cinnamon
7 ounces lean minced lamb
1 tablespoon pine nuts
1 tablespoon tomato puree
2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
1 handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the aubergines in a roasting dish skin side down. Lightly brush with some of the oil, season with a pinch of salt and plenty of pepper, and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a pan, add the onion, cumin, paprika, and cinnamon and cook over medium heat for 8 minutes. Add the lamb, pine nuts, and tomato puree and cook for 8 minutes more. Just before the end of the cooking time, stir in the pomegranate seeds.
Remove the aubergines from the oven and divide the lamb mixture evenly between each half. Return to the oven and bake 10 minutes more. Serve topped with parsley.


  1. I've often thought about that, the false economy of buying something in a plastic pack. So much more expensive and I think they go off quicker. Like buying melon or pineapple slices in plastic. I always liked that Greek myth. Pomegranates are tasty. They're good with feta and rocket too!

    1. And the red, white and green looks so artistic!

  2. I like the sound of that lamb recipe. We have just collected some of our own lambs back.
    (But that’s what aprons are for!)

    1. You are right. Aprons protect other garments from the splashes

  3. That sounds like a very interesting recipe. I'm glad you chose to buy the whole fruit, but, I suppose the packet of seeds would appeal to someone who is intimidated by the thought of getting the seeds out of the fruit. Or, can't be bothered to.

  4. Sorry but I go for the packaged every time and even then I struggle. And yes I do feel guilty.

  5. When I was a little girl I would sometimes be given a pomegranate and a (dressmaking) pin. The idea was to spear each seed with the pin and so eat the seeds one by one. Id be horrified to see a child eating like that but I really loved doing it!

    1. That would take ages. I remember my mum eating winkles with the aid of a pin.

  6. Oh I did laugh. I have honestly just been writing a list of Christmas hospitality needs and am wondering if life's too short to sprinkle pomegranate seeds on a salmon wreath!! I looked for the Advent Pause last week and missed the announcement , I suppose. Yes for me, if I'm not too late. Another Advent post is honestly on this week's to-do list x

  7. I keep on buying pomegranates that aren't ripe... maybe for me pre-packaged ones might work better. Cheers


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