Pomegranates – a dash of color and a tonic for high blood pressure.

Besides their esthetic appeal when added to everything from salads to rice dishes, pomegranates have been hailed for their anti-inflammatory abilities. A substantial body of research vouches for this orb-shaped fruit’s ability to help prevent heart disease. It also seems to purify the circulatory system by helping to unclog the arteries, prevent blood clotting, increase oxygen flow to the heart and lower blood pressure. This may be due the high content in pomegranate juice of ellagitannin compounds (granatin B and punicalagin), which are thought to reduce heart disease risks. The presence of vitamins C and E may also play a part.

Some researchers say that drinking fresh pomegranate juice can also inhibit viral infections, and the fruit’s extracts have even been shown to have antibacterial effects against dental plaque.

A healthy way to get a dose of pomegranate juice is to try this delicious salad that teams pomegranate with the seedless and easy-peeling satsuma citrus fruit also known as tangerine. Just make sure you’re not wearing white!

Satsuma, Chicory and Pomegranate Medley

Ingredients

    • 6 satsumas, peeled, unpithed and sliced into 3-4mm slices
    • 1 small red onion, peeled, very finely sliced
    • 2 heads of fennel, trimmed and very finely sliced (keep fronds)
    • 200g soft goat’s cheese
    • 3 heads chicory, outside leaves discarded, divided into leaves, washed and dried
    • Small bunch of finely chopped chives

Dressing

    • Juice and seeds of 1 large pomegranate
    • 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
    • 1.5 tbsp. red wine vinegar
    • 1 tsp. honey
    • Salt and pepper
    • 3 tbsp. olive oil

Method

    • Make dressing first. Cut pomegranate in half and then one half in half again. Squeeze the 2 quarters through a sieve into a bowl. Add red wine vinegar, honey, salt and pepper and slowly whisk in the oil.
    • Now mix the satsuma pieces and finely sliced onion together with a pinch of salt to let the onion soften.
    • Turn other pomegranate half cut-side down onto a board and tap with a rolling pin to dislodge seeds. Remove any white membranes and add seeds to the onions and satsumas. Crumble in goat’s cheese and carefully mix in fennel.
    • In another bowl put the chicory leaves, chives and a little seasoning. Dress them with some vinaigrette. Arrange chicory leaves on 4 plates and scatter the rest of the salad over the top. Finish with more dressing.

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