For many, there are few kitchen chores as dreaded as extracting the juicy, jewel-like seeds from a pomegranate. A tip: Do not perform this dirty deed while wearing a brand-new white shirt. Even better: Submerge the fruit in a bowl of water, as demonstrated below, and you’ll lessen the likelihood of making a horrible mess. Once you pry the seeds away from their pithy pods, try them in this excellent winter salad adapted from Dieci chef Junichi Ota.
Dieci’s Smoked-Duck Salad With Persimmons And Pomegranates
Juice of two oranges
1 tablespoon veal stock (optional)
1 tablespoon coarse- grained mustard
6 ounces extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 small ripe Fuyu persimmons
1 pomegranate, for 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds; you can freeze the remaining seeds for up to 6 months
1 smoked duck breast (available from dartagnan.com)
2 bunches arugula, washed and dried
FOR THE DRESSING:
In a small pot, simmer orange juice over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes until reduced by approximately half. Let juice cool in a bowl. Add veal stock, mustard, olive oil, and salt and pepper, and whisk together well. Peel and slice persimmons lengthwise.
TO EXTRACT THE POMEGRANATE SEEDS:
(1) Slice off the crown end of the fruit, and score the rind in quarters. (2) In a large bowl filled with water, gently break the fruit apart into 4 pieces. (3) Bend the skin side of the segments inside out, separating the seeds from the membranes. Skim off the pith, which will float to the top. Drain the seeds into a colander. Thinly slice the duck breast. Place persimmon, pomegranate seeds, arugula, and duck slices in a large bowl, and toss with the dressing. Adjust seasoning. Serves 4.