What's in season: If you've ever tried to tackle a fresh pomegranate, it's a project trying to extract the juicy red arils — the pulp-like covering around the seeds — from the leathery flesh and pulp. But the results are well worth it for the sweet-tart flavor they provide. The fruit originated in the Middle East, but is grown throughout Asia, the Mediterranean and in California. Pomegranates are in season from early fall through the beginning of winter, with a number of varieties including flavorful Angel Red, large Wonderful and light-skinned Spanish Sweet pomegranates.
What to cook: Fresh pomegranate arils are usually served as a garnish, adding color and bright notes to salads, fall stuffings, dips and soups. So what's the best way to deal with a pomegranate? Simply halve or quarter the fruits and submerge them under water. Slowly peel away the arils; they will sink to the bottom of the bowl as the skin and pulp float to the top.
What's on the horizon: While they come in hundreds of varieties, sweet potatoes can generally be divided into two main groups: the pale tuber and the darker-skinned, bright-orange-fleshed root vegetables often mistakenly called "yams." The fruit, generally available from fall through early spring, are just beginning to show up.