|Hold onto your hats. I'm about to get poetic and analytical all over this crazy fruit.|
Some religious scholars believe that the fruit in the Garden of Eden was not an apple but a pomegranate.
I have no idea what the basis for this belief is, but if true, the notion has profound theological implications. A person might eat a forbidden apple on impulse. It takes determination and forethought to eat a forbidden pomegranate.
Little wonder that the pomegranate worked its way into myth. Just opening a pomegranate feels a little bit like an epic quest: the nearly impenetrable rind hiding row upon row of brilliant, pellucid arils, each aril in turn housing within its magenta flesh a small, thin seed, deep and quiet as a buried secret. Seeding a pomegranate engages the visual and tactile senses in a way that makes reality seem more real; at the same time, the material world-- not just the fruit in your hands but the plastic cutting board and Formica tile and the football game on television in the next room-- opens up and takes on a strange, even spiritual aura. You stand at the kitchen counter, hands slick with tap water, and coax seeds from a membrane, and suddenly you find the sweet spot where a sense of usefulness and industry intersects with wonder at the world and three or four different kinds of sensory pleasure.
Of course, it helps even more if you have a good salad to throw your pomegranate seeds into when you're done extracting them.
|"There are only ten minutes in the life of a pear when it is perfect to eat." -Ralph Waldo Emerson|
In addition to the tart, gently crunchy pomegranate arils, this salad features sweetness from pears, creaminess from beans, crunch from pecans, and bite from a maple-Dijon dressing. It's a great way to celebrate fall.
|A salad worth three months in the underworld and expulsion from Paradise? I couldn't say. But it is good.|
1 tablespoon each olive oil, maple syrup, and balsamic vinegar; feel free to throw in some lemon juice if you like
1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
2 cups greens
1 pear, chopped
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup red beans
1/4 cup pecan halves
Salt and pepper to taste
Whisk together olive oil, maple syrup, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and Dijon. (Hint: if you use the olive oil first, the maple syrup will glide right off the tablespoon, no muss no fuss.)
Toss everything in a bowl. Boom.
Variation: If your pear is a little under-ripe-- or even if it isn't-- try roasting it with a cup of broccoli in a tablespoon of coconut oil, 425 degrees for 20 or 30 minutes, tossing once halfway through.