More Pomegranate Molasses Magic and a Salad Dressing Recipe

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Balsamic vinegar is almost as prevalent in kitchen pantries as salt and pepper. Once you taste pomegranate molasses, sometimes described as the Middle Eastern equivalent of balsamic, you’ll find yourself reaching for it frequently as well. From salad dressings to grains and from meats to desserts, pomegranate molasses’ tart and tangy flavor livens up so many dishes. It’s no wonder it’s so widely used in Middle Eastern cuisine along with other tart add-ons like sumac and barberries.

As I mentioned in my roasted fruit post, the Tasting Jerusalem group explored pomegranate molasses for our September ingredient, cooking recipes from the book as outlined in our ingredient post, as well as creating some of our own. Here are the highlights including a simple and satisfying salad dressing recipe included at the end of the post:

A Bit of Serendipity

Pomegranate Molasses

Photo by Aimée of HomeMade Trade

Wheat berries and swiss chard with pomegranate molasses and more!

As luck would have it, another cooking group called “Cook the Books” was cooking through “Jerusalem” in September. One of our members, Aimée Goggins of the blog Homemade Trade belongs to that group and shared their cooking bonanza with us. Aimée prepared the wheat berries and swiss chard with pomegranate molasses to slightly mixed reviews along with several other “Jerusalem” favorites like the shakshuka. Head over to Aimée’s post to see everything she cooked and visit the other members of the “Cook the Books” group for a multitude of Ottolenghi and “Jerusalem” inspiration. Wow!

Hannah of the blog Blue Kale Road created one of her many inventive recipes as well as preparing the fried cauliflower with tahini, roasting the cauliflower instead of frying it – a great idea.

Herb and tomato salad with pomegranate molasses

pomegranate molasses

Photo by Hannah of Blue Kale Road

Our friends at Mezze and Dolce blog, inspired by a bruschetta eaten in a vegetarian wine bar, created their own version, mixing the pomegranate molasses with sriracha among other things – yum!

Avocado crostini with pomegranate molasses

pomegranate molasses

Photo by Jaime of Mezze & Dolce

And our cooking cohort in New Zealand, Susan Busch of the blog Couscous and Consciousness, nearly wrote the pomegranate molasses bible. She has been cooking through Ottolenghi/Tamimi recipes for months with her cooking group, I Heart Cooking Clubs and has amassed a plethora of pomegranate knowledge that she generously shares with us in this post. Please head over for a read and then bookmark it for future reference.

Pan-fried cauliflower and how to use pomegranate molasses

pomegranate molasses

Photo by Sue of Couscous & Consciousness

What Sarene and I were cooking up!

pomegranate molassesSarene cooked the wheat berry and swiss chard dish, some salad dressing & used the molasses to drizzle on beets. I experimented with a roasted fruit recipe and a simple vinaigrette (see below) as well as working with quince for the first time.

I found quince at the farmers market and decided to make a version of the lamb and quince recipe without stuffing the quince, as the headnote in the recipe suggests. I asked Mr. Ottolenghi for some guidance on preparing the dish when bypassing the tedious task of hollowing out the quince. One key suggestion is to brown the meatballs before marrying them with the quince mixture.

Quince are, by the way, a very interesting fruit worth getting to know. Their appearance is like a cross between a Golden Delicious apple and a Bartlett pear and the flesh can turn a pinky orange when prepared with sugar water, as for the Spanish-inspired quince jam. However you use them, don’t judge them by their flavor when raw – it is not appealing. Only when cooked, does the apple pear flavor with overtones of the tropics appear. For more about this under-used fruit, check out this LA Times Russ Parsons article on quince.

pomegranate molasses

Pomegranate Molasses Salad Dressing Recipe

Pomegranate Molasses
3.67 from 3 votes

Pomegranate Molasses Salad Dressing

A simple vinaigrette combining the familiar balsamic vinegar with the tangy syrupy pomegranate molasses. Easily modified to your own tastes or menu – add fresh or dried herbs, change the vinegar, or use it exactly as is. Originally served on a fig and manchego green salad, it would be ideal for so many salads throughout the year.
Course Salad
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 93 kcal


  • 2 teaspoons minced shallot
  • 1/8 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 3 ¼ teaspoons pomegranate molasses adjust up or down to your tangy taste buds
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon each to start


  1. In a small bowl combine the shallots, vinegar and pomegranate molasses, then whisk in the olive oil.
  2. Taste, then add salt and pepper or other herbs to your own liking.


Join the group for more inspiration!

Join our Tasting Jerusalem group as we continue to explore Middle Eastern cuisine through the cookbook “Jerusalem: A Cookbook“, “Ottolenghi: The Cookbook“, and beyond. You can find us on FB, G+, Pinterest, OMG! Yummy blog, and the hashtag #TastingJrslm on Twitter and Instagram.

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16 Responses to More Pomegranate Molasses Magic and a Salad Dressing Recipe

  1. allie @ Through Her Looking Glass January 14, 2016 at 8:07 am #

    I learned so much about pomegranate molasses today, and I’m so glad I dropped by. So many great uses.

    • Beth Lee January 14, 2016 at 9:42 am #

      Yah! Thanks for the visit. It’s such a great addition to a pantry – look for the brands without added sugar.

  2. annelies November 3, 2013 at 11:03 pm #

    Pomegranate molasses is a regular in our kitchen and I have been contemplating making the Stuffed Quince recipe in Jerusalem… that just may have to happen this fall.

    • Beth Lee November 4, 2013 at 9:02 am #

      If you are short on time, deconstruct it and prepare the stuffing as meatballs and give them a quick sear first. Wonderful with the pomegranate on top. Now is the time to make it! Thanks for stopping by Annelies!

  3. Couscous & Consciousness October 31, 2013 at 10:36 pm #

    What a great round-up you’ve done, Beth, and I love your pomegranate molasses dressing. I’ve been so curious to try that wheat berry dish, but I’ve never been able to find wheat berries here.

    • Beth Lee November 1, 2013 at 10:23 am #

      Hi Sue – I guess I take for granted what I regularly find in our stores here – didn’t realize they were difficult to come by. I think you could probably substitute some other hearty grain and give it a go.

  4. Hannah October 18, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

    Love this salad dressing, Beth! Balsamic and pomegranate sound absolutely delicious together. So, I tried making my own pomegranate molasses yesterday and learned that I should not leave the kitchen when doing so…we now have what we’re calling Middle Eastern lollipops! I overcooked it and it hardened. Oh well! Next time I’ll keep a close eye. Thanks for sharing all this pomegranate inspiration!

    • Beth Lee October 18, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

      LOL! I did the same thing – got distracted w a phone call and boiled it just a little too long. Should be about 75% reduction. With 2 cups of liquid, should take about 25 minutes at med low heat to get to 1/2 cup. @dormantchef is the saucier in our house and he always measures water to the amount of final reduction desired, pours it into the pot to visually cue where it should be when its done before he starts the process. Engineering minds…

      But hey – according to Martha, I’m no expert so don’t listen to me 🙂 Oh sorry that snide comment just slipped out. Oops!

  5. sandycorman October 18, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

    Where do I buy pomegranate molasses. Would love to try that recipe.

    • Beth Lee October 18, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

      Great question – most gourmet-ish grocery stores and small Middle Eastern groceries carry it of which there are plenty near where you live. Even easier is just to make your own by boiling down pomegranate juice – reduce about 75%. So if u start w 2 cups juice, you want to stop boiling at 1/2 cup. Stay close while you are doing it cuz if you boil too far it becomes pomegranate “chewing gum” 🙂

  6. Carol Sacks October 18, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    Great post — thanks for sharing so many ideas!

    • Beth Lee October 18, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

      You are my never-fail source of salad inspiration Carol!


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