Entries in pomegranate (11)


red lentil and carrot kofte

i have a new cookery book and have been cooking up a storm. the book is diana henry’s a change of appetite and i love it. i have a few of her books – crazy water, pickled lemons plus the wonderful salt, sugar, smoke – and love thes way her flavours pack a punch, whether they are fresh and zingy or softer and gentle.

cooking for friends was the first reason to get stuck in and we kicked off with these red lentil and carrot kofte, topped with pomegranate and drizzled with a tahini dressing.  they are perfect if you’re hosting a meal as they can be prepared in advance and are eaten at room temperature. i say that but actually mine were a bit cooler as they needed some time in the fridge to firm up a little. leftovers the next day were also delicious.

the other dishes i served, all from the book, were chicken shawarma served on on a bed of chickpea puree with flatbreads and a salsa of pomegranate, sumac and onion plus, for pudding, earl grey poached pears with greek yoghurt. i loved the chicken but need to experiment with the pears as the bergamot perfume of the earl grey was missing.

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a pair of fig jams


i’m still smitten with salt sugar smoke, diana henry’s book on preserving. this weekend i decided to make fig jam – her recipe for fig and pomegranate jam has been teasing me ever since i got the book and i couldn’t wait any longer to try it. the book also contains a variation, which pairs the fig with orange and cardamom so, given i managed to get some ripe figs at a cheap price, i decided to make both.

the two versions are quite different from each other but the thing they have in common is the freshness of the fig flavour, something which i wasn’t expecting and definitely worth knowing if you’re not a fan of overly sweet, almost dusty flavour that some fig preserves have.

the pomegranate has both pomegranate juice and pomegranate molasses within it, which results in a bright and not particularly sweet flavour (this is my favourite variation); the orange also avoids excess sweetness, with a definite citrus tang and i love the pockets of cardamom that you encounter every now and then.

a lovely pair of jams to make and lovely to share – my twelve figs made 6 jars in total so sharing is definitely on the cards – either as they are or as part of a cream tea (the third jam pictured is gooseberry and elderflower).

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pomegranate-roasted grapes

i’m still loving maria elia’s middle eastern chicken kebab, and cooked it again a week ago for a couple of friends who came round for a mid-week supper. i split the preparation, marinating the meat overnight and then searing and assembling it on the skewers a day in advance.

i also made these roasted grapes with pomegranate molasses the night before, having heard a friend rave about them as an accompaniment to grilled halloumi.

they are very simple – seedless grapes are tossed with a teaspoon or two of pomegranate molasses and a sprinkling of demerara sugar then roasted at 220c for 8-10 minutes. the grapes will start to burst at this point and develop a lovely sweet and sour flavour with the molasses and sugar.

i also tried making a batch of thyme-roasted grapes (tossed with olive oil, salt and thyme) but really didn’t like the combination of sweet, salty, oily and herbs. on the other hand the pomegranate roasted version was delicious and even converted a halloumi sceptic!


aubergine-wrapped halloumi with pomegranate dressing


last year i had a really delicious meal at maria elia’s restaurant, joe’s,  and so when i noticed she had a new book out, i couldn’t resist picking up a copy.  quite a few of the recipes in full of flavour have caught my eye, not least a chicken liver pate that, unlike every other version i have ever made, is not loaded with butter. however, it was something simple that i kicked off with – halloumi cheese, sprinkled with lemon and oregano then wrapped in aubergine, warmed through under the grill and served with a pomegranate dressing.

dennis cotter has a similar recipe, but in his case the aubergine-wrapped halloumi has a roast garlic and shallot raita accompaniment. however, as with dennis’ recipe, it is the dressing that is the star of the show and what brings the dish together, halloumi and aubergine both being ingredients that happily allow other flavours to shine.

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roasted vegetables with a saffron yoghurt dressing


i’ve made this ottolenghi salad twice in the past couple of weeks, most recently alongside couscous-stuffed lamb, and have really loved it each time.

the original recipe just uses roasted aubergines but i think you can use other roasted vegetables as well (or instead) quite easily – i added courgettes (griddled rather than roasted) each time and this worked really well.

what makes it special is the garlicky saffron yoghurt dressing and the freshness and crunch that comes from sprinkling the finished dish with pomegranate seeds and toasted pine nuts (in fact, eating the final spoonfuls, which usually include an abundance of pine nuts and pomegranate, was something that friends did each time i served this dish!).

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