February is the ultimate red month – host not just to Valentine’s Day, but the finale of the Chinese New Year festival, National Cherry Month and American Heart Month. It’s positively bursting with possibilities for dishes featuring red foods.
Red plays an important role in stimulating feelings and behaviors. Many colors are associated with feelings. For instance, blue inspires creativity, yellow is for joy and green relieves stress. Red gets the nod because it boosts attention span, makes you hungry and stimulates the libido, which helps to explain the connection between red and Valentine’s Day.
Brightly colored foods like pomegranate, which is the star of my February RED recipe, also provide health benefits. Pomegranates are full of polyphenols, which cut heart disease and cancer. They pack three times more of this benefit than red wine, which of course is known for the French paradox, ie being great for the heart.
I reasoned that if one of these healthful is good, then two must be better. Why not combine these very RED ingredients in a delightfully decadent sorbet? The resulting pomegranate red wine sorbet was decidedly easy to make. Just five ingredients and some freezer time are needed. And I discovered that an ice cream maker isn’t required. Just chunk up the frozen juice mixture in the bowl of a food processor and puree. In a few minutes the transformation is complete.
This refreshing, tangy dish can easily grace a Valentine’s dinner table as dessert or it could offer a palate-cleansing intermezzo in the midst of a meal and it comes with New Year blessings for longevity, riches, peace, wisdom and virtue. Enjoy!
Pomegranate Red Wine Sorbet Ready to Serve
Break frozen juice mix into chunks and place in the food processor
- 16 ounces (2 cups) pomegranate juice
- ¾ cup red wine (pinot noir would be good or some other light red wine)
- ¼ cup water
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- Fresh mint leaves for garnish
- Cook pomegranate juice, wine and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat till the sugar dissolves. Do not bring to boil. Add the lime juice and let cool to room temperature.
- Pour mixture into a 1-gallon plastic freezer bag and zip tightly, removing as much air as possible. Lay flat in freezer until completely frozen, several hours.
- Remove from freezer and from bag. Working quickly, break frozen juice into chunks and place in the bowl of a food processor. Blend until smooth. Consistency should be like a puree. Spread mixture into a container and freeze until ready to serve. Scoop into glasses or bowls.
- Optional - top with pomegranate seeds and mint leaves.