The other day I got an unexpected delivery from Amazon…my thoughtful husband ordered me a copy of Plenty More, Yotem Ottolenghi’s new book! I couldn’t be more excited…his Jerusalem is the most inspiring cookbook I have ever owned. Ever. Plenty More is a new collection of vegetarian dishes and I can already tell it’s going to be equally exciting. I only made it to the first recipe when the familiar ‘Ottolenghi effect’ kicked in…the photo gets me hyperventilating, I get restless, and have to jump up and head to the kitchen. Who would have thought…tomatoes and pomegranate…but it’s a fantastic combination and I’m thrilled to discover something so simple and yet so completely new. My Tomato and Pomegranate Salad looks a little different from his because I used brown tomatoes, or ‘Kumatos’ from Trader Joe’s, which are a specialty variety — sort of an olive green on the outside and a beautiful blush pink on the inside. And then the pomegranates I picked up turned out to be the ones with the pale pink seeds…love that! So mine is a soft pastel version of Ottolenghi’s dish. You can use any kind of tomato you want for this salad, it’s surprisingly wonderful. My husband, who raised his eyebrows at first, loved it.
The dressing is AMAZING. I’ve raved about a similar dressing in this post. It’s a mix of allspice, pomegranate molasses, vinegar and olive oil. Ottolenghi uses garlic, I left it out. The warm spice gives it an unusual edge, and pomegranate molasses is incomparable. To know it is to love it. Find it in the International section of your market, order it online, or make it yourself. So good.
If you have trouble removing the seeds from your pomegranate, try cutting it in half, and then breaking it apart under water, in a large bowl. The seeds will fall to the bottom and the pith will float. No mess.
If you’re tired of lettuce, give this salad a try. It’s no more trouble to make, and the combination of flavors, colors, and textures will spur conversation for sure. Chop the tomatoes in a small dice, add in some red onion and then toss with the dressing. Shower the pomegranate seeds and fresh herbs over it and serve. No need for salt, or pepper…amazing! The following recipe is an adaptation, mine is a little simpler than Ottolenghi’s and I love it. We had it two nights in a row using different types of tomatoes.
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 2 tsp white wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 medium tomatoes, any variety (I used brown, or 'Kumatos')
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 a small red onionred onion
- seeds from 1/2 large pomegranate, 1 cup
- fistful of fresh thyme leaves (or oregano)
- Whisk together the dressing and taste to adjust the proportions, if necessary. Set aside.
- Cut the tomatoes in a small dice. Put them in a wide shallow bowl. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half if they are small, or in quarters if they are bigger. Add them to the bowl.
- Finely dice the red onion and add to the tomatoes. Toss with enough dressing to lightly coat. (You may not need it all)
- Scatter the pomegranate seeds and the fresh thyme or oregano leaves over the salad and serve.
Make this salad shortly before serving because the tomatoes will not keep well once cut. Recipe adapted from Plenty More
If you’d like to try to make your own pomegranate molasses all you need is pomegranate juice and a sauce pan, I show you how HERE. And I urge you to check out Plenty More, I know I’m going to have fun with the recipes all winter long, and you’re going to feel left out if you don’t have your own copy. ;)