Fall is here and the leaves aren’t the only things changing colors! It’s always so fun to see the deep colors of fall produce - from rich aubergine hues of eggplant and grapes to the vibrant orange of in persimmon and pumpkin, and our favorite deep pink of pomegranates (learn more about poms below).
Have you visited your local farmer’s market lately? Check out this month’s list of seasonal produce and let us know what you are excited to try!
(Source: Southland Farmer’s Market Association).
Pomegranates play quite a large role in Greek mythology, especially when it comes to the seasons. As the myth goes, Demeter, goddess of harvest, had a daughter named Persephone who was kidnapped by Hades, the god of the underworld. Believing her daughter was gone forever, Demeter mourned, which in turn prevented crops from growing.
When Zeus demanded Persephone to be returned, Hades tricked her into eating pomegranate seeds, which according to the Fates would force her to spend eternity in the underworld. However, since she only ate six seeds, Hades agreed to allow her to return to her family for six months. During the time that Persephone was with her family, Demeter was happy and crops flourished. However, when she returned to Hades, crops began to wither and die.
The six months when crops grew became known as spring and summer, while the remaining six months became fall and winter. And that - according to Greek mythology - is how the seasons were formed.
In honor of the beginning of fall and pomegranates, we found this wonderful recipe showcasing sweet pomegranate seeds.
Braised Fennel with Pomegranate
Adapted from Martha Stewart
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 fennel bulbs (1 3/4 pounds total), trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch wedges, plus fronds for serving
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (1 tablespoon)
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons pomegranate juice
1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
2 tablespoons finely chopped toasted hazelnuts
2 tablespoons finely shredded mint
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
Heat a large skillet over high; add olive oil and fennel in a single layer (work in batches, if needed). Season with salt and pepper; cook until browned, 2 minutes a side. Add garlic, orange juice, broth, and pomegranate juice. Bring to a boil; cover and simmer, turning once, until tender, 8 minutes. Uncover; cook on high until liquid is syrupy, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate; let cool 5 minutes. Serve, sprinkled with mint, fennel fronds, hazelnuts, and pomegranate seeds.
P.S. What is your favorite pomegranate recipe? Tell us all about it in the comments below!