Market Report - Pomegranates

Laura Avery speaks to Willy Nuata of Rocky Canyon Produce. Rocky Canyon is best known for their grass fed beef, but insiders know that they have some of the tastiest yams in the market. They sell a variety named Diane which has a very deep color and is super creamy inside. They also have several varieties of squash and their table looks like a harvest celebration.

If you haven't tried their beef, you may be in for a treat. In addition to being certified organic and grass fed, Rocky Canyon beef is dry-aged for up to 21 days, a rarely practiced process that results in the loss of up to 20 percent of the beef in the process.  After dry aging, the outside of the beef must be cut away to expose the tender, flavorful interior meat. The beef products that remain are of exceptional quality and taste.

Laura also chats with Amelia Saltsman about pomegranates and she offers a delicious, easy way of preparing them.

Pomegranate and Orange-Glazed Beets

24 small beets, 1 to 2 inches in diameter, or 3 pounds larger beets, quartered
1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup orange juice
1/3 cup pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped toasted pistachios, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. If you haven¹t already, cut off the beet greens, leaving 1 inch of stem attached to beets, and reserve for another use. In a large baking dish, toss the beets with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover pan and roast beets until almost tender when pierced with a knife, about 30 minutes, shaking the pan once during cooking
time. Uncover, shake the beets again, and roast uncovered until tender, about 15 minutes more. When cool, peel the beets using a paring knife (skins should come off easily). The beets may be prepared 1 day ahead and refrigerated. Return them to room temperature to finish the dish.

Pour the orange and pomegranate juices into a large skillet set over medium-high heat, and cook until juices are reduced by half and slightly syrupy, about 10 minutes. Add the beets and a little salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium, and cook the beets, frequently spooning the juices over them, until the juices become a very thick syrup, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in the tablespoon of butter, reduce the heat as needed to keep the glaze from browning, and stir constantly 1 to 2 minutes until the beets are richly coated and the juices are a thick glaze. Add salt and pepper as needed. Sprinkle with the pistachios.

Makes 6 servings.

Adapted from The Santa Monica Farmers' Market Cookbook (Blenheim Press, Spring 2007) by Amelia Saltsman.