A cornerstone of Middle Eastern cooking is pomegranate molasses, a thick syrup made from reduced pomegranate juice, a dark reddish-brown, deeply flavoured, sticky, sweet, tart and sour all at the same time. It is used in dressings, marinades, on roasted meat, and diluted with fizzy water for a drink.

Middle Eastern cooking which is becoming more and more popular, partially to the work of Yotan Ottolenghi, with his excellent books, restaurants, newspaper column and television series. The cuisine is generally relatively healthy and bursting with fresh flavours.  

Pomegranate molasses are widely available from supermarkets and Middle Eastern shops, it lasts for ages, but there are so many delicious ways to use it up that it does not deserve to languish unloved at the back of a kitchen cupboard. 

Browse out wonderful selection of cookbooks

1. Marinated Olives

MArinated Pomegranate Olives

Start a Middle Eastern themed dinner party with these mouth-watering Iranian style sweet and sour olives, marinated in garlic, mint and pomegranate molasses and served topped with walnuts and fresh pomegranate. 

 

2. Roasted Pomegranate grapes

Roasted Pomegranate Grapes

One of my favourite weekday suppers; simply drizzle some grapes with olive oil and pomegranate molasses and bake them in the oven for 10 minutes. Serve with fried halloumi. The juice from the grapes mixes with the molasses and makes a delicious rich, tart sauce. You can even make this with frozen grapes making it a perfect speedy weekday supper.

 

3. Moroccan Vegetarian Bastilla

Vegetarian Bastilla with Pomegranate

If you are looking to impress then this recipe Moroccan Vegetarian Bastilla with Butternut, Chickpeas and Sweet Potato Caramel served with a roasted pepper, pomegranate and Hazelnut dip is perfect. It is a complicated recipe, but step by step photos will guide you through, or you can just make the delicious dip.

 

4. Fattoush Salad

Fattoush Pomegranate Salad

Lebanese food expert Bethany Kehdy’s fattoush salad is recreated by food writer and photographer Michelle. She explains that part of the joy of a fattoush salad is its rustic chunkiness. Ingredients will vary according to household, season and region, but the basics will always be lettuce, radishes, tomatoes, cucumber and onion flavoured with mint and sumac and topped with Arabic bread. The secret to this salad is a good glug of pomegranate molasses in the dressing for depth and flavour.

 

5. Winter Salad with Pomegranate dressing

Winter Salad With Pomegranate Dressing

A more winterly and Northern European take on a salad with pomegranate molasses dressing is made with roasted root vegetables – carrots, beetroot and parsnips – lightened with clementine slices and then dressed with a pomegranate and maple syrup dressing.  Beautifully colourful as well as seasonal.

 

6. Stuffed Poussin   

Stuffed Poussin with Pomegranate and Cherries

I am a fan of poussin. Somehow having a whole bird seems far more special, as well as bringing an equality to the table as everyone has to deal with the bones, rather than just the person who carves! Here poussins are stuffed with a mix of bulgur wheat, cherries, cashews which have been flavoured with pomegranate molasses. Prepare in advance and simply roast and serve with braised lettuce it is the perfect dish for a romantic meal at home au deux!

 

7. Aubergine, Chickpea and Walnut Salad with Pomegranate Yoghurt

Aubergine, Chickpea and Walnut Salad with Pomegranate Yoghurt

This cholesterol lowering salad contains chickpeas and walnuts, sweetened with pomegranate seeds and dressed with a fat-free dressing of no fat yoghurt, quark and pomegranate molasses. Sunshine in a bowl, and leftovers are perfect to take to work as a packed lunch.

 

8. Broccoli & Courgette Salad with Sumac & Pomegranate Molasses

Broccoli, Courgette Salad with Sumac and Pomegranate Molasses

A beautiful green vegetable salad, which is exactly the type of dish that I’d expect to see in one of Ottolenghi’s cafes. Substantial and with some bite it is equally at home in the garden in the summer, or with meat inside in the winter. Sumac and pomegranate molasses make a sweet and tangy dressing.

 

9. Pomegranate Cheesecake

Pomegranate Cheesecake

This simple to make no bake cheesecake has a crunchy oaty base and creamy mascarpone and pomegranate topping. The recipe includes instructions for making a pomegranate syrup, but simply use pomegranate molasses in its place and add a little more sugar to the cream. 

 

10. Pomegranate & Fig Jam

Pomegranate and Fig Jam

Fig, apple and pomegranate jam is delightfully autumnal, rather different, tart but not too sweet and would make a perfect Christmas present, I have a feeling it would go very well with cheese.

Helen Best-Shaw is a freelance food & recipe writer and blogger at Fuss Free Flavours.

Read more articles by Helen Best-Shaw here

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