The tiny jewel-like arils of a pomegranate are nutty little seeds wrapped in a beautiful and deliciously succulent cloak of exotic flavor. I think it is the texture, the snappy crunch cushioned in soft sweet nectar, that makes pomegranate arils a tempting addition to savory snacks, especially those that thrive on harmonizing flavor notes and palatable contrasts of texture.
Salsa for instance. Fruity salsas are a fun way to serve tempting new flavor combinations. At their best they offer guests a surprising and nutritious contrast of herbs and spices, heat and cool, soft and crunchy, sweet and savory that invites them to explore the ingredients while taking the edge off those between-meal cravings.
This salsa is no exception. It blends some delicious seasonal favorites into a delightfully pretty appetizer that is replete with succulent contrast. Harvest flavors of roasted sweet corn, buttery pine nuts and earthy jicama balance the beauty and sharp piquancy of the pomegranate arils, tart notes of lime and spicy cilantro. It is a great way to wake up the palate in preparation for a satisfying meal to come.
½ cup pomegranate arils
Zest of 1 small lime (1 teaspoon)
1 Tablespoon lime juice
1 Tablespoon pomegranate juice
2 Tablespoons honey
½ cup jicama, cut in small cubes or matchsticks
½ cup roasted corn, thawed
1 jalapeno minced
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
½ teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
To make this salsa first open a pomegranate:
- Slice ½ to 1 inch from the crown of the fruit.
- Score the outer skin of the pomegranate with a sharp knife, cutting from the top to the base along the sectional lines where the white webbing attaches to the outer rind.
- Pull these sections apart and separate the ruby toned arils from the white pulp using a spoon or fork. (You can use your fingers but remember that pomegranate juice stains and will likely leave a brownish discoloration on the skin of your fingertips if that is your method of choice.)
Place ½ cup of the pomegranate arils in a small bowl, storing the remaining seeds in the refrigerator for another use.
Add the remaining ingredients. Stir until well combined.
Allow to rest for thirty minutes or so to allow flavors to blend.
Serve with plantain chips, or Sweet Potato Chips, or Home Baked Tortilla Chips.