Pomegranates can be intimidating because they are notoriously messy and the tiny seeds can be difficult to separate from the convoluted center. However, with a few simple tricks you can have a pile of clean pomegranate seeds in about 5 minutes.
First cut off the flowery tip and score the leather-like skin of the pomegranate along the veins where the membrane goes through to the center. Make the slices about 1/4 inch deep. You can cut the pomegranate in half if you like, but this will damage some of the seeds and make an unnecessary mess.
Next, fill a large bowl with cool water and submerge pomegranate. Use fingers to pry open the skin at the incisions and break pomegranate in half as shown. The skin should bend easily where it has been scored, so continue to break open the fruit and gently begin removing the seeds under water with your thumb and fingers.
Because the seeds are filled with juice they readily sink to the bottom of the bowl, while the airy, white interior of the pomegranate floats to the top.
Once you have dislodged all the seeds, remove the large chunks of skin and lining with from the water with your hands. If any seeds remain floating, they are likely attached to a floating piece of the pomegranate interior. Separate these pieces.
Next, add cold water to the bowl then let the seeds settle to the bottom again. Dump off the top layer of water, being sure not to let any seeds escape from the bowl. Remove as much water as possible and then refill the bowl. With the water now slightly cleared, check the seeds at the bottom for any stuck pieces of the white interior of the pomegranate and remove them.
Continue to rinse and drain the seeds until no more pieces of pomegranate interior float on the water. Finally, dump the clean seeds into a strainer to remove the water. These can be stored in a sealed contain in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
Pomegranate seeds are a fantastic addition to salads, cereals, rice, couscous and vegetable dishes.