Updated: Feb 24, 2020
Contributed by Caleigh Martella | Sophomore | Agricultural Communication
In honor of the month of January and the abundance of winter produce in season we wanted to share a recipe and information about one of our favorites: pomegranates!
The fruit originates from Iran and northern India who today, produces the largest amount of commercially grown pomegranates (California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc.). Pomegranates were introduced in California in 1769 and are now grown in drier regions of the state with the San Joaquin Valley producing the most (CRFG).
Not only are pomegranates delicious but they are also packed with an impressive amount of nutrients such as fiber, vitamin C & K and potassium (Healthline). They are also full of antioxidants which serve as a great anti-inflammatory agent.
Fun Fact!: The so-called "seeds" inside of a pomegranate are actually called arils and they contain the sweet-tart juice that we all know and love. The true seed is within the aril. (Pomegranate Council)
Roasted Salmon with Pomegranate-Avocado Salsa
Recipe by the Pomegranate Council https://www.pomegranates.org/2017/10/02/roasted-salmon-with-pomegranate-avocado-salsa/
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons sugar
Salt, as needed
1 pomegranate, seeded
½ cup thinly sliced green onion
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons finely chopped jalapeño pepper or to taste
1 large clove garlic, chopped finely
2 avocados, preferably Hass, cut in ½ inch dice
1 head hearts of Romaine, about 7 ounces
4 center-cut salmon fillets the same thickness, 6 to 7 ounces each 1 lime, cut in eighths for garnish
Mix coriander, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt, then reserve. Up to 4 hours before serving, mix pomegranate arils, onion, lime juice, jalapeno, and garlic. Gently fold in avocado. If holding for more than 30 minutes, put plastic wrap against the surface of the salsa, then tightly cover and store in the refrigerator. Remove about 30 minutes before serving.
Separate the romaine leaves – wash, then dry thoroughly. Reserve 4 of the most attractive leaves for garnish. Slice the remaining leaves crosswise in thin shreds, then reserve.
To prepare the salmon, rub a generous teaspoon of the reserved seasoning mixture over each piece. Arrange the salmon on a baking sheet, skin-side down. Roast at 500˚F for about 11 minutes for medium-rare (salmon should be spongy when pressed with a finger at its thickest part) and 13 minutes for medium-well (salmon should be just firm when pressed with a finger at its thickest part).
While the salmon cooks, mound ¼ of the shredded romaine on each of 4 serving plates. Top with ½ cup salsa. When the salmon is done, let it cool slightly – it should be warm, but not hot. Put a piece of salmon on each plate, and garnish each with a reserved romaine leaf and 2 lime wedges.