5 Ways to Use Pomegranate Molasses

Ingredient Intelligence

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Pomegranate molasses has become one of my favorite ingredients, but it's a tricky one for many people. Perhaps you, like our assistant editor Ariel, bought a bottle to make one recipe, such as muhammara, and now you're wondering what else to do with it. Ariel has been after me for months to write down a list of more ideas for pomegranate molasses, so here we go. Here's just a taste of what you can do with this tangy, delicious syrup. I'd love to hear your suggestions too!

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Pomegranate molasses is a pretty simple ingredient (you can even make it yourself). It is pomegranate juice that has been reduced down, with or without sugar, to a thick, intensely flavored syrup.

One of the things I appreciate most about it is its lack of sweetness. Pomegranate molasses is syrupy and rich, but even versions with added sugar are not very sweet. Instead it's tangy and a little musky with a depth of flavor that I usually associate with wine or concentrated meat drippings.

This makes it invaluable anywhere you want to add a little depth or complexity. Here are a few things I like to do with it.

5 Ways to Use Pomegranate Molasses

1. Whisked into salad dressings - I recently talked about some creative ways of making vinaigrettes from scratch, substituting juice or alternative oils. Pomegranate molasses is a great option, since it adds a more complex acidity than lemon juice or vinegar. Sometime I substitute molasses for all of the vinegar; other times I add just a few drops.

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2. Stirred into iced tea and other drinks - It's tough to make a good mocktail or non-alcoholic spritzer without too much sweetness. You can stir pomegranate molasses straight into sparkling water; it's a delicious and refreshing drink (add a dash of non-alcoholic bitters to amp it up a bit). It also adds the most important note in these two recipes below.

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3. Brushed on meat as a glaze - Glazes and marinades get a good jolt of acidity from pomegranate molasses. I am usually wary of fruit and meat together; it's just not my thing. But I find that pomegranate molasses complements meat without adding too much sweetness.

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4. Drizzled over roasted vegetables - You don't need a lot, but again, the acidity of this stuff is so good over grilled or roasted vegetables. Or whisk together with a touch of olive oil for a dressing.

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5. Whizzed into dips and relishes - You don't need a recipe to add a drizzle of pomegranate molasses to hummus, baba ghanoush, or any other dip or relish that could use a little jolt of acidity or sweetness. I find that it adds depth and deliciousness to any Mediterranean dip.

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OK your turn — I'd love to get more ideas for this good stuff.

(Image credits: Faith Durand)

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