Friday, May 27, 2011
So, POM Wonderful sent me some pomegranate juice in the mail. There was a non-pressure suggestion, "Hey, see if you can come up with something using it." At first I wasn't sure if I should even accept it. It's a new thing for this blog and I don't particularly want to start advertising here. But I thought "hey, it's pomegranate juice." I have no moral obligations against accepting something like JUICE. It's good, it's healthy, I like it. (Although I always promise to disclose if I accept anything and write about it here. There is my disclaimer, had to get it out there.)
So anyways, I was drawing blanks, "what to do with pomegranate juice... hmmm."
I thought, ... um... you can drink it? Um... My son likes to drink it? and... Hm. I got about half way through the juice they sent and I found it...
....I discovered pomegranate molasses - this whole world of ideas came flooding in!
You can find pomegranate molasses at middle eastern stores, or you can make your own. And if you have a pomegranate tree, even better! Juice those things and make it!
You can do so much with pomegranate molasses - one thing I've really, really been wanting to make is my friend Gilda's recipe for Muhammara (SO GOOD!). A chef friend of mine also mentioned that you can make candy with it! ... I'm not much of a candy maker, but I thought that was interesting. The batch of molasses that I made came out VERY thick, it practically is candy.
What I've made with pomegranate molasses so far (I have enough to make a few things!) is a recipe from my favorite cook, and recipe-extraordinaire, Heidi Swanson. I made her Pomegranate Glazed Eggplant from her new cookbook "Super Natural Every Day." I've made at least 7 recipes of this book... I'm a little obsessed and plan on making many more of them. I can't help it. It's too good. So good. So obsessed.
Anyway, back to the recipe. The molasses is super easy to make and is really nice in the Pomegranate Glazed Eggplant which ends up being perfectly sweet and spicy.
Pomegranate Molasses Recipe
from Simply Recipes
4 cups pomegranate juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
In a large, uncovered saucepan, heat pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice on medium high until the sugar has dissolved and the juice simmers. Reduce heat just enough to maintain a simmer. Simmer for about an hour, or until the juice has a syrupy consistency, and has reduced to 1 to 1 1/4 cups. Pour out into a jar. Let cool. Store chilled in the refrigerator.
If you want your pomegranate molasses to be sweeter, add more sugar to taste, while you are cooking it.
Pomegranate Glazed Eggplant (with tempeh, sweet potato and cashews)
Adapted from Super Natural Everyday
1 eggplant cut into 1 inch chunks
8 oz tempeh cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 sweet potato cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 ts sea salt
2 garlic cloves
1/2 ts red pepper flakes (more if you like spicy)
1/3 cup pomegranate molasses
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (or if you're like me and you didn't have any you could add some cashews, why not?)
Preheat oven to 350.
Mound eggplant, tempeh, and sweet potato on a rimmed baking sheet.
Start making glaze by sprinkling the salt over the garlic. Chop and smash garlic into a paste using both the flat side and blade of your knife. Combine the garlic paste in a bowl with red pepper flakes and pomegranate molasses. Whisk in the olive oil. Drizzle three-quarters of the glaze over the ingredients on the baking sheet. Toss well and arrange in a single layer.
Bake for 45-60 minutes, tossing everything around 35 minutes, until eggplant and sweet potato start to caramelize.
Drizzle with remaining pomegranate glaze, sprinkle with cilantro, cheese and/or cashews, and serve.
Obligatory JW shot! I swear, he is the cutest thing I've ever seen. Aye aye aye he kills me!