Cooking with pomegranates

Chef Mark Pollard at Epic restaurant in River North uses pomegranates on his seasonal menu. He is showing how pomegranates can be added to most dishes to add a unique flavor.

Epic 112 W. Hubbard Street Chicago 312-222-4940

Seared Scallops. Eggplant Puree. Pomegranate Jus

3 Sea scallops
3 Tablespoons Eggplant Puree
2 Tablespoons Pomegranate Jus
2oz Baby Winter Greens

Seared Scallops

1 to 1 1/4 pounds dry sea scallops, approximately 16
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper


Remove the small side muscle from the scallops, rinse with cold water and thoroughly pat dry. Add the butter and oil to a 12 to 14-inch saute pan on high heat. Salt and pepper the scallops. Once the fat begins to smoke, gently add the scallops, making sure they are not touching each other. Sear the scallops for 1 1/2 minutes on each side. The scallops should have a 1/4-inch golden crust on each side while still being translucent in the center. Serve immediately.

Eggplant Puree

3 eggplant, halved lengthwise
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tablespoon roughly chopped basil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Preheat a sheet pan in oven. Generously coat eggplant with olive oil and season with salt and fresh black pepper. Carefully place eggplant on preheated sheet pan flesh down. Bake in oven 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until flesh has fully cooked. Allow the eggplant to cool. Using a soup spoon, gently scrape the flesh from the skin (including any charred or browned portion). Reserve the flesh and discard the skin. Place the eggplant in a food processor and pulse until eggplant is slightly smooth (a chunky puree). Empty mixture into a bowl and mix in the red onion, garlic, basil, paprika and red wine vinegar. Season with salt and fresh black pepper.

Pomegranate Jus

3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
3 tablespoons black peppercorns
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, diced
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 cup POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice
2 cups beef or veal stock


In a heavy saucepan cook shallots over moderate heat, stirring, until browned. Add thyme and peppercorns cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine and boil until reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Add pomegranate juice and boil, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to about 2/3 cup. Add stock and boil until thickened and reduce to 1 cup and strain

Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta. Pomegranate. Puffed Rice Granola

1 ea. Panna Cotta
1 Tablespoon POM POMS Fresh Pomegranate Seeds
2 Tablespoons Granola
-Insert Panna Cotta onto serving plate
-Surround with Granola
-Top with Pomegranate seeds

Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta

1 envelope unflavored gelatin (2 1/4 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons cold water
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
2 cups of Greek yogurt 1. In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water; let stand until softened, 5 minutes. In a small saucepan, bring the cream, sugar and vanilla bean and seeds to a simmer. Off the heat, stir in the gelatin until melted. In a bowl, whisk the yogurt until smooth. Gradually whisk in the vanilla cream; remove the vanilla bean. Pour the mixture into six 1/2-cup ramekins and refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours.

2. Run a knife around the inside of each ramekin. Set a plate on each ramekin and invert each panna cotta onto a plate; you may have to tap and shake the ramekins to loosen the panna cottas

Puffed Rice Granola

Dry Ingredients

6 Cups Quick Oats
¾ Cup Brown Sugar
1tsp Salt
1 Cup Almond Slivers
6oz Puffed Rice Cereal

Wet Ingredients

1/2 Cup Honey
4 TBS Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 Cups Melted Butter
1/2 Cup Apple Juice

Mix dry with wet

Spread on cookie sheets and bake for 225-250 degrees for 45 minutes.

Stir. Bake an additional 45 minutes.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Pistachios, Pomegranates and Feta Cheese

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, slightly softened
1/4 cup toasted pistachios, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
Seeds from 1 pomegranate
1 lime, finely zested
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
3 tablespoons Feta Cheese crumbled


Combine and butter and in a small bowl. Fold in the pistachios and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the Brussels sprouts in a medium roasting pan and toss with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until lightly golden brown, 20 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven, add the pomegranate molasses and stir to combine. Return to the oven and cook until just tender, about 10 minutes longer.

Transfer the sprouts to a large bowl, add the pomegranate seeds and lime and orange zests and Feta Cheese. Transfer to a platter and top with some of the Pistachio butter.

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