Monday, April 6, 2009
Golden Nugget Squash with POM reduction and Roasted Pinenuts
When I was younger, my parents had a pomegranate tree in the backyard. Every year the tree would bow under the weight of the heavy purple-red fruits which cracked opened and spilled their gorgeous seeds for the birds and my family to enjoy. Evenings were spent loosening the seeds so my father could use his old-fashioned juicer to extract the sweet tart goodness. Long after the season ended, we had juice in the freezer to drink, cook with and make wine with.
Now that I live further away, these happy memories come back whenever I get a chance to enjoy pomegranate juice. Recently, I had the opportunity to taste POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice. This bottled delight, albeit missing some of the gunk and seeds that were in my dad's juice, remind me of home. The juice is fresh and sweet, with the tartness you can only find in a pure pomegranate juice. Mixed with sparkling water, you can cut the calories in half (8oz of POM is 150 calories) and lessen the tartness but still enjoy the fabulous benefits of the fruit.
Speaking of benefits, pomegranate has to be one of the best publicized fruits lately. With high concentration of polyphenols, it is an acclaimed source of antioxidants. Research also suggests that pomegranate consumption can help with heart health and cancer prevention. But all the amazing health benefits aside, it just tastes so darned good!
Today's recipe takes the juice that reminds me of home and combines it with one of my father's favorite foods -- pine nuts -- and my mom's -- squash -- to make a fabulous side dish that would work great with some grilled chicken or a salad.
1 Golden Nugget Squash (you can try out other squash and find your favorite!)
4 oz POM Wonderful, pomegranate juice
4 tbsp dry roasted pine nuts
Cut squash into 8 slices, removing seeds in the process. Bake at 350 degrees (you can choose to drizzle oil, but I just pour a little water into the pan which steams a bit while baking) for 30 minutes or until the squash begins to brown around the edges.
In a saucepan, reduce pomegranate juice by half.
Divide squash onto four plates and drizzle reduced pomegranate juice over squash. Sprinkle 1 tbsp of nuts over each plate.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional Information: 131 calories/6 grams of fat/5 grams of fiber/2 grams of protein
I get asked by readers if I am being paid to push products. The simple answer is no. In fact, most of the products I write about are ones I have found and purchased during my trips to the grocery store or on the road. Occasionally, a company will send a sample my way and if I believe the product will serve a need for my readers and I would buy the product myself, then I will share it with you. Sometimes I will write to a company after reading about it, if I believe it will help us lead healthier lifestyles. But even then, if the product doesn't pass my scrutiny, it won't make the screen of Uncovering Food. You can trust that every product or recipe posted here has passed through my lips, and that I wouldn't blog about it if it wasn't worthy of you... my favorite readers.