Photo: Kang Kim. Illustration by John Burgoyne.

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

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.

(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.