Pomegranates are in season in fall and winter and add a sweet-tart element to recipes in a season dominated by heavier dishes. The acidity cuts through rich meats like beef, lamb, and stews. They also bring a welcomed brightness to salads, appetizers, and side dishes, that would have used summer berries earlier in the year.
You can also adapt recipes that use dried, tart fruit like cranberries or cherries and replace them with fresh pomegranate seeds.
Fresh vs prepackaged juice & seeds
Removing the seeds and juicing a pomegranate is time consuming and messy. The flavor is brighter and fresher - it's worth it if you have the time.
When you don't have the time, prepackaged seeds and juice are a great option. The prepackaged seeds will be more expensive than buying a whole pomegranate, but juice will be cheaper.
Sprinkle appetizers with pomegranate seeds, use the juice to make a tart sauce, or add them to cheese (instead of jam or balsamic vinegar).
Below are several salad recipes, but you can also find any recipe that uses dried cranberries or cherries, and replace them with pomegranate seeds for a similar sweet-tart flavor.
Meat & mains
The acidity and tartness from pomegranate seeds will cut through rich stews and fatty dishes. Add them as garnishes right before serving. Using juice has a similar effect, whereas pomegranate molasses can make the dish quite a bit sweeter.
If you like sweet-tart desserts (like lemon bars or cookies), try some of these pomegranate recipes. You can also find inspiration by looking for sour-cherry, cranberry, raspberry, or other tart fruit recipes, like drizzling a pomegranate syrup (instead of cherry syrup) on cheesecake.
Most of these drinks call for pomegranate juice. If you make your own, be sure to strain it really well before adding it to the drink.