Friday, February 19, 2016

An Odd Couple That Works...Tomato And Pomegranate Salad

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Pomegranates are not high on my list.  It's not that I don't like them, I just don't like them enough to put them in my grocery cart.  The thought of getting to the little seeds, no matter how pretty and flavorful they are, is enough to discourage me from even trying them; but that all changed last week when I noticed them in plastic boxes at both Whole Foods and my grocery store.  Why not... it was Valentine's Day and I had been intrigued by a recipe I had seen a few months ago in Yotam Ottolenghi's last book Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London's Ottolenghi.

Coincidentally, I had also been intrigued by the boxes of mixed tomatoes Costco was selling, another ingredient in the same recipe.  I already had pomegranate molasses from this chicken recipe so the signs were auspicious.

You have heard me say this before but I will say it again...the genius of this man knows no bounds.  The things he comes up with are beyond comprehension sometimes; but it all works. You can trust him and that is one of the things that made Julia Child great...she never let you down.  Plus, there is harmony in his recipes.  They sing to you, its an hallelujah chorus on steroids, but enough said.

This recipe has only one problem.  There is a lot of chopping to do.You have to cut all the vegetables in a 1/4 inch dice and it takes time (and you get bored).  Make sure you have a very sharp knife.  I diced tomatoes for awhile, then switched to red pepper, then tomatoes, red onions and watched t.v. Some of them were 3/8 inch but I hid them underneath.

You can get pomegranate molasses at Whole Foods or Amazon.  You can make your own by simply reducing Pom pomegranate juice.  Although it would not be the same, you could substitute balsamic vinegar for both the white vinegar and pomegranate molasses.  Do try to get the latter, it is, after all the point of this recipe and it keeps for awhile.   You will use again and it is great for basting when you start grilling this Spring.

It's been awhile since I last posted but I haven't felt up to it.  I have lost 15 lbs and I am delighted.  I only eat when I'm hungry and I don't think much about food but this recipe was too exciting not to post.  I will be back, as MacArthur said, but only when I have something really nice and different to contribute. After almost seven years it was becoming an obligation and that defeats the purpose of this blog.  Thanks to all of you who have kept on subscribing and accessing the blog.  Sorry to have kept you waiting so long.

Yotam Ottolenghi's Tomato And Pomegranate Salad 

Serves 4


  • 1 1/3 cups/200 g red cherry tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch/5-mm dice
  • 1 1/3 cups/200 g yellow cherry tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch/5-mm dice
  • 1 1/3 cups/200 g tiger or plum tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch/5-mm dice
  • 18 ounce/500 g medium slicing tomatoes (about 5), cut into 1/4-inch/5-mm dice
  • 1 red pepper, cut into 1/4-inch/5-mm dice (1 cup/120 g)
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced (rounded 3/4 cup/120 g)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 1/4 cup/60 ml olive oil, plus extra to finish
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large pomegranate, seeds removed (1 cup/170 g seeds)
  • 1 tablespoon small oregano leaves

  • Preparation:

    Dice the tomatoes, pepper and red onion and add to a medium bowl.

    In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, allspice, vinegar, pomegranate molasses, olive oil, and a scant 1/2 teaspoon salt until well combined. Pour this over the tomato mixture and gently mix.

    Arrange the tomato mixture and its juices on a large, flat plate. Sprinkle the pomegranate seeds and oregano over the top. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and serve.

    Cook's Note
    Although it says it serves 4, this recipe really serves 6.  Make sure you don't over mix the tomatoes or they will get mushy.

    All photos Lindaraxa

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