WHY WE LOVE IT: The ruby red gems of the pomegranate are visually stunning and add crunch and a burst of flavour to so many dishes. It’s native to Iran, but is now cultivated and enjoyed around the world in both sweet and savoury dishes.

IN SEASON:  March through to May, the later they’re picked the sweeter they taste.

CHECK IT’S FRESH: choose unblemished pomegranates that feel heavy for their size and have a rich blush colour.

VARIETIES: Buy fresh whole pomegranates, preserved juice or molasses.

COOKING AND PREP METHODS: cut the pomegranate in half, hold over a bowl and hit the peel side firmly with a wooden spoon then pick out remaining seeds in the flesh. If you find that you have a lot of pith mixed in with the seeds, the best way to separate them is to place the lot in a bowl of water – the seeds will sink and the pith will float.

STORE IT: store it in the fruit bowl for several weeks, or remove the seeds and freeze for up to a year.

NOURISHES: Pomegranates are loaded with goodness. They’re high in vitamin c, vitamin b5 and potassium, are beneficial for high blood pressure and are high in antioxidants.

CLASSIC FLAVOUR PAIRINGS: fatty meats such as lamb and duck, walnuts, pistachios, cous cous and most grains, honey, chocolate, goat’s cheese, yoghurt, red capsicum, coriander, eggplant, rose

3 WAYS WITH POMEGRANATE:

Marinate lamb with pomegranate juice, soy sauce and ground cumin and chilli for a great BBQ dish

Try muhammara dip – made with roasted red capsicum, pomegranate molasses, walnuts and garlic

Quinoa salad with roast eggplant, coriander, goat’s fetta, pomegranate dressing and fresh crunchy seeds

BUY IT: green grocers and supermarkets around the country.

DID YOU KNOW? Every pomegranate has 840 seeds!