I’d noticed this bottle staring at me every time I opened the refrigerator door, giving me the evil eye from its place among the other neglected jarred stuff. Pomegranate molasses. As common as muck for those who live in chichi parts, but for me a prize obtained after considerable effort on a visit to the big smoke.
I had wanted this ruby-red, sweet-but-tart syrup specifically for Yotam Ottolenghi’s divine burnt aubergine with tahini and pomegranate, to serve with slow-roasted lamb. My guests fair licked the bowl clean, but with no plans to cook it again immediately, I had little idea what to do with the rest of the bottle. So being a no-waste zealot at the moment, I looked for some other uses for pomegranate molasses before it wound up on fridge death row.
So here you have it, Top 10 uses for pomegranate molasses. Note that I developed and cooked the first recipe but the others are untested ideas I’ve stumbled on, although they all look like pretty good bets to me.
1. Roast chicken with pomegranate molasses glaze
In a small bowl mix together 20ml pomegranate molasses, 1 teaspoon sumac, two minced garlic cloves, a squeeze of lemon, a large splosh of chilli oil and lots of salt and pepper. Mix well. Pat dry a whole chicken and prick the skin all over with a fork. Rub the pomegranate molasses mixture all over the bird and try to get a couple of teaspoons inside the pocket between the skin and breast. Place half a lemon and some fresh coriander inside the cavity, and roast the bird as per your normal method (for me that’s about 1 hour in a 190° oven, or longer depending on the size of the chicken). The skin will turn a deep mahogany and you may feel the need to cover with foil towards the end of roasting to stop it over-caramelizing.
The resulting bird is incredibly juicy and received a unanimous thumbs up in our house. Some sweet potato roasted alongside the chicken was also enhanced by its proximity to the glaze. Despite the intense taste of pomegranate molasses straight from the spoon, cooked this way its attributes are more subtle. For that reason you won’t be pushing your luck if you also add a teaspoon of it to the roasting pan juices when making the gravy. This recipe also works really well with lamb, pork, duck, game or salmon.
2. Drizzle as it is over vanilla or chocolate ice cream.
3. Or combine 120ml of pomegranate molasses in a small pan with 90g grated dark chocolate and melt together over a low heat. This would be lovely spooned over ice cream or poached fruit. You could go the whole hog and add double to cream to make a ganache for a fabulously rich chocolate cake. Try this one for inspiration.
4. Add a teaspoonful to gin and tonic, a glass of champagne or soda water.
5. Whisk a spoonful into a basic vinaigrette and spoon over a dish like fig and prosciutto salad, or to add sparkle to a salad of mixed green leaves and herbs.
6. Add to cream cheese icing to jazz up plain cupcakes.
7. Stir a tablespoon or two through a stew, braise, tagine, chilli or soup to add an instant depth of flavour.
9. Blitz together roasted bell peppers, roasted chilli peppers, fresh mint, cucumber, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and a swirl or pomegranate molasses to make a robust dip to eat with flat bread.
10. Add a slurp to your favourite onion relish recipe or use this version from New York deli Dean & Deluca.
Next stop, Top 10 uses for half-used jars of preserved lemon, bacon fat, piccolo peppers, pickled eggs, …..