Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Things to do with Pomegranate Molasses

It occurred to me after my Ruby Salad post last week that some of you might be wondering what else to do with the jar of pomegranate molasses you just bought to make the dressing. Or perhaps you were even questioning the wisdom of buying a jar just to make a dressing.

Well, let me tell you that once you have a jar of this in your pantry you will not want to be without it. It is now readily available in Mediterranean and Asian specialty stores, as well as some supermarkets (see Source Guide below). It is relatively inexpensive and keeps almost indefinitely. It is thick and syrupy, as you would expect, dark brown in colour, and its tart/sweet flavour is utterly unique. There is no doubt in my mind that once you have tried this you will be hooked. This is one of those wonderful ingredients that adds a real “wow-factor” to the simplest of dishes.

So, apart from salad dressings, what can you do with it? Here are a few simple suggestions.

Make a refreshing drink by mixing 1 teaspoon of pomegranate molasses with lemon juice and sugar; then add water or soda and adjust to your taste. You could also turn this into a cocktail by adding the alcohol of your choice – vodka and rum both work really well with this.

Use to glaze the skin of a chicken or duck breast before cooking – skin will be crispy and a little sour.

Glaze a rack of lamb before cooking, or use to dip barbecued lamb cutlets.

Make a marinade for salmon fillets by combining: 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses, 1/2 cup orange juice, 1/2 cup dry sherry, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1 clove of garlic, crushed. Marinate up to 4 hours, remove from marinade and bake in a 160oC oven for 10 minutes. While fish is baking pour marinade into a saucepan, and reduce over low heat to about half. Drizzle reduced pomegranate marinade over fish to serve.

Baked fish parcels – place pieces of firm fleshed fish in centre of piece of tinfoil or parchment paper, drizzle over pomegranate molasses, slivers of garlic, sliced lemon, and finely sliced fennel. Complete with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, close up parcel, and bake at 180oC till cooked through.

Make a dressing using pomegranate molasses, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and salt and freshly ground black pepper, add chopped flat leaf parsley and mint. Use this dressing over any of the following combinations:

* Char-grilled eggplant and courgette, roasted tomatoes and carrots, black olives and feta cheese

* Roasted pumpkin and mushrooms, pumpkin seeds, baby spinach and grilled haloumi (see Source Guide)

* Mesclun leaves, toasted walnuts, sliced apple, raisins and goats cheese

Drizzle pomegranate molasses over a block of cream cheese and serve with crackers.

I also came across this recipe on Epicurious for Oranges with Pomegranate Molasses and Honey, which I haven’t tried yet but which is high on my list of things to try real soon, especially with oranges being in season right now. I just know that this is going to be great.

If you enjoy any of these suggestions, or maybe have a few of your own, please feel free to leave a comment. I would be really pleased to hear your ideas.

* Lastly, even though I mentioned above that pomegranate molasses are now "relatively" easy to find, here in New Zealand (and especially in Christchurch) some things can still be a little hard to find. So I thought it would be useful to add a Source Guide to this site, showing places where I know you can find any of the more unusual ingredients or products that I use. If you know of other places, please leave me a comment and I will be happy to add them to the Source Guide.

Source Guide:

*Pomegranate Molasses

Available in Christchurch from: Mediterranean Food Warehouse (outlets also in Nelson & Wellington)

Elsewhere available from: Sabato


Also available in Christchurch from Mediterranean Food Warehouse


  1. there can never be too much pomegranate molasses in the house - good stuff :)

  2. Thanks for the comment Antonio. I agree. I think I'm addicted to the stuff, and in terms of what it does for a dish, it's a bit like the wardrobe equivalent of a great accessory to go with the little black dress!


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