Pomegranate Molasses Vinaigrette – Sweet. Tart. Tangy. Vegan.
Mouthwatering Pomegranate Molasses Vinaigrette has a flavor that’s sweet, tart and tangy all at the same time. Tremendously tasty when tossed with a variety of flavorful spring greens. Great with grains from quinoa to black rice. Luscious with lentils and roasted vegetables.The key flavor comes of course from uniquely tart and sweet Pomegranate Molasses. It’s so delicious you’ll find yourself wanting to eat it with a spoon. Find it in Middle Eastern stores, some well-stocked supermarkets, and of course, online. This is the brand I especially like as its only ingredient is pomegranate juice.
Have you made the Poached Pears in Pomegranate Juice? Then, like me, you may still have some of the reduced poaching syrup in a jar in your fridge. You can use this thickened poaching syrup, which is pomegranate molasses, as the basis for this incredibly delicious vinaigrette.
Make pomegranate molasses at home
Just boil down pomegranate juice in a heavy-bottomed saucepan until it’s a thick, dark red essence of pomegranate. Cool it completely before transferring it to an airtight jar. Store pomegranate molasses in the refrigerator for up to several months. You can find other recipes for pomegranate molasses that also include sugar and lemon. I understand doing so sweetens it and extends both its shelf life and color.
Twenty and more years ago the French mesclun mixture of spring greens made quite an impact in the U.S. Such a difference in flavor and texture from the typical iceberg or romaine lettuce salads we’d eaten for years. Mesclun was quickly embraced by caterers, high-end restaurants and gardeners. And now pre-packaged spring mixes and field greens are everywhere.
Mesclun consists of an assortment of colors, textures and flavorful greens. Each mix contains a blend of bitter, peppery, mild and piquant flavors. The diversity comes from a wide variety of lettuces as well as greens and herbs and even flowers.
A bit of trivia
1997 was proclaimed as the year of Mesclun by the National Garden Bureau. Mesclun was chosen because of its popularity, ease of growing and wide adaptability in a number of gardening zones.
Pomegranate Molasses Vinaigrette with Spring Greens
Zesty radicchio, peppery arugula, bitter Belgian endive and mild and tender butter lettuce. Each of these serve as a crisp and tasty contrast to the sweet/tart Pomegranate Molasses Vinaigrette.
One of the nutrient-rich brassicas, a genus of plants in the mustard family also known as cruciferous vegetables. Arugula adds a sharp, pungent & peppery flavor. The more mature the arugula the bolder its flavor. Arugula can frequently be found mixed with other greens and used in salads. The leaves, flowers, young seed pods and mature seeds are all edible.
Radicchio & Belgian Endive
Both radicchio and Belgian endive are varieties of common chicory. Elegant radicchio (pronounced ra-DEEK-ee-o) with its leafy head of loosely packed, white veined reddish-purple leaves is the best known of the chicories. Beloved for its color and zesty, bitter and spicy flavor, radicchio is at its best in the spring and fall.
Tender and versatile white Belgian endive (pronounced on-DEEV) is known as “white gold” in Belgium. With its silky crispiness, unique cylindrical shape and pleasantly mild bitterness, Belgian endive makes a great addition to salads. Individual leaves can also serve as tasty “containers” for appetizers and dips.
Inspired by a recipe from Bobby Flay in Bon Appetit Magazine.
Pomegranate Molasses Vinaigrette keeps well—2 or more weeks, actually.
Make a batch of this tart and tangy vinaigrette and enjoy it with greens of all kinds as well as grains and lentils.
Optional garnish: shavings of Parmesan or pecorino or crumbled goat cheese or feta.
Makes about 1 cup Pomegranate Molasses Vinaigrette
1 rounded tablespoon homemade Country-Style Mustard (or Dijon mustard)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 twists freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon honey, optional
3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1. Use a whisk to combine the mustard, vinegars, salt, pepper and optional honey.
2. Whisk in the pomegranate molasses.
3. Gradually whisk in the olive oil until the dressing thickens (emulsifies).
Spring Greens w/ Sliced Pear, Toasted Walnuts & Dried Cranberries
½ small head radicchio
Small interior leaves from a medium head butter lettuce
1 medium Belgian endive
4 packed cups baby arugula (2.25 ounces) or 1 bunch of watercress, thick stems removed
1/3 cup walnut halves
2 tablespoons dried cranberries, fruit juice sweetened if possible
1 ripe pear or apple
1. Wash and dry the radicchio, butter lettuce, endive and arugula or watercress.
2. Toast walnut halves in a 350 degree oven 7 minutes. When cool, cut in half.
3. Halve or quarter radicchio and leaves of butter lettuce. Add to a large mixing bowl.
4. Trim bottom from endive. Beginning ¾ inch from the top, slice the rest of the endive in ½-inch thick slices. Add to the mixing bowl.
5. Toss the arugula or watercress in with the other greens and dried cranberries.
6. Just before serving the salad, halve, core and thinly slice the fresh pear or apple. Add to the salad.
7. Toss with enough Pomegranate Molasses Vinaigrette to lightly coat yet boldly flavor the salad. Sprinkle with toasted walnut quarters and serve.