One of the most exciting parts of working in our kitchen is the constant exposure to new ingredients from all over the world. Often, we’ll come across something that we then turn to again and again for numerous dishes. One of my favorite ingredients that is a huge part of the cooking for our Middle Eastern participants is pomegranate molasses. Basically, this is pomegranate juice that has been reduced and concentrated down into a syrup. It has an amazing sweet and sour profile that lends a depth to so many dishes, both sweet and savory. It forms the basis of salad dressings and can be used as part of a wonderful braising liquid for meats and chicken. The best part is that it is also a relatively inexpensive ingredient with a 10 oz bottle usually priced at $3-4.
Our recipe this week showcases pomegranate molasses as a simple salad dressing perfect for jazzing up those summer vegetables. We will often use this in conjunction with a traditional Middle Eastern cucumber and tomato salad as it all just makes sense together. Once made it will keep in the fridge for a good two weeks, just give it a good shake or throw it back in the blender to bring it all back together once it starts to separate. Also, feel free to add whatever herbs or other citrus you like to customize it to your taste!
¼ Cup Pomegranate Molasses
¼ Cup Orange Juice (plus a bit more if needed to thin)
½ Cup Canola or Vegetable Oil (any neutral flavored oil will work)
1 Tablespoon Freshly Grated Ginger
1 Small Shallot, minced
1) Place all ingredients minus the oil in a blender. Blend 10-15 seconds to combine.
2) With the blender still running on low, slowly stream in the oil to emulsify.
3) If dressing becomes a little too thick, add a bit more orange juice or water to thin to proper consistency (it should coat the back of a spoon).
4) Taste and add more salt if needed.
5) Store in the refrigerator for 2 weeks, give a shake if separated and enjoy!