About a year and half ago I planted a pomegranate tree – okay not quite a tree but a 12-inch sapling. That first spring it took root and actually gave me a splay of delicate pink flowers that put a smile on my face until a few days of rain turned into a frown. Its first winter might have been a tad tough on it, but it rebounded with new shoots and leaves. With much I plant, fantasy drives many of my choices. It is my hopes that in the coming years those branches reach out and not only shows a springtime floral spectacle, but offer an autumn display of dangling, crimson orbs decorating the garden and alleviating my need to hunt them down in the farmer’s market. I have to admit I might never get any fruit to set. I have to be realistic that it could be a too wet during the summer and maybe too cold in the winter to ever see more than those little flowers. If that becomes my reality then the day will arrive that this tree will be harvested for flowers to be landed in a vase, but I am nowhere near that resignation. Until that moment, I will stubbornly hold on to my vision and nurture the possible.
Pomegranate Leg of Lamb – yields 4 to 6 servings
1-teaspoon ground cumin
1-tablespoon ground sumac
½-teaspoon ground cinnamon
1-teaspoon ground anise seed
⅛-teaspoon ground clove
3½ leg of lamb – bone-in
3 carrots – cut into 1-inch pieces
3 stalks celery – cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large onion – roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Cut the pomegranate in half and pop all the seeds into a sieve. Push on the seeds to extract the juice into a bowl.
Whisk all the ground spices into the pomegranate juice. Place the leg of lamb into a container that holds it snugly, and pour over the pomegranate mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 24 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350-degrees.
Place the carrots, celery and onion on the bottom of a casserole pot, and put the leg on top of the vegetables -- pour over the pomegranate marinade. Season with salt and pepper, and then cover. Cook in the oven for 3-1/2 hours.