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October officially kicks off pomegranate season and you’ve probably already seen them in the grocery stores and at the farmers markets. The beautiful crimson pearls can be sprinkled over salads and the juice can be reduced to a thick syrup you will typically find in many North African recipes.

Renowned plant-based chef and restaurateur Matthew Kenney recently hosted a virtual dinner demonstration using pomegranate in a four-course meal that started off with a pom juice and whiskey cocktail with cucumber and orange. The first course of smoked eggplant terrine with tahini and pomegranate jelly was followed by a macadamia ricotta with sourdough and pomegranate arils. For dessert, Kenney presented a mind-blowing coconut panna cotta with malted crumble and pomegranate caramel.

Watch the demo of his main course, harissa and pomegranate roasted cauliflower with pistachio couscous and a pomegranate gastrique. 

 

Harissa and pomegranate roasted cauliflower with pistachio couscous and a pomegranate gastrique (Michele Stueven)

Beyond that, here are recipes for pomegranate molasses three ways:

Basic Pomegranate Molasses:

3 cups POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/3 cup agave syrup

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice, lemon juice, and agave. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium to maintain a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until syrup has reduced by two thirds, to just under 1 cup, 45 to 55 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool, then transfer to a lidded jar.
  2. Molasses can be stored in the fridge for up to two months.

Moroccan Spice Variation:

Follow instructions above, using 3 cups POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/3 cup agave syrup, 1 inch of fresh ginger coarsely chopped, 1⁄2 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon peppercorns, 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, 1⁄2 teaspoon whole allspice, 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon turmeric. Strain after reducing to a syrup and store as above.

Warm Vanilla Variation:

Follow the instructions above, using 3 cups POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice, zest from 2 mandarins, 2 tablespoons fresh mandarin juice, 1/3 cup agave syrup, 1⁄2 a vanilla bean split open, and 2 cinnamon sticks. Strain after reducing to a syrup and store as above.

Zesty Chili and Cumin Variation:

Follow instructions above, using 3 cups POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice, 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice, 1/3 cup agave syrup, 1⁄2 teaspoon adobo from canned chipotle in adobo, 1⁄2 a small jalapeno sliced, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, and 1 teaspoon coriander seeds. Strain after reducing to a syrup and store as above.

Harissa and Pomegranate Roasted Cauliflower with Pistachio Couscous and a Pomegranate Gastrique

 

Ingredients:

Cauliflower
1 medium cauliflower 1 cup harissa paste

Couscous
3 cups water
2 cups couscous
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup toasted pistachios
1⁄2 cup parsley, chopped
1⁄2 cup olives
Pepper to taste
Salt to taste
Juice of one lemon
1⁄4 cup POM POMS Fresh Pomegranate Arils

Gastrique
1 cup POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice

Preparation:

1. Coat the cauliflower with a small amount of olive oil and then rub the cauliflower with red harissa paste. Let the cauliflower marinate overnight.
2. Once the cauliflower has marinated, season it evenly with salt and pepper.
3. Preheat the oven to 350oF. Place the cauliflower on the roasting tray until a desired color is developed or until the cauliflower is easily pierced with a knife. This should take about 20-30 minutes.

4. For the couscous: Place a small pot on the stove and bring the water to a boil. Add the couscous and the pistachios. Cover the pot with a lid and turn off the heat. Allow the couscous to cook in the hot water for about 5 minutes or until done and then fluff with a fork. Add the parsley, chopped olives and lemon juice to the couscous and season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. For the gastrique: Place the POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice in a separate small pot and reduce the volume by half.
6. Serve the cauliflower hot on a bed of couscous and garnished with the pomegranate gastrique and POM POMS Fresh Pomegranate Arils.

 

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