A question about a recipe: Charred Broccoli and Lentil Salad

I have a question about the recipe "Charred Broccoli and Lentil Salad" from EmilyC. This recipe calls for some unique ingredients I've never seen before. I see that honey is a sub here for the pomegranate molasses, but will I be missing out on some unique flavor? Also should I be roasting the pepper myself in advance, or using bottled roasted pepper?

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Recipe question for: Charred Broccoli and Lentil Salad

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Nancy
Nancy November 4, 2014

pomegranate molasses has a sweet-sour flavor profile, so if you sub honey for it you will be losing some flavors. Possible substitutes (but not exact replacements) for the sour flavor include dry white wine, lemon juice, vinegar, sumac powder, amchur (unripe mango powder)....all good. As for the roasted pepper - home made or bottled are both good.

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Kira Fickenscher
Kira Fickenscher November 4, 2014

Thank you for the quick answer, Nancy! I've no idea where to find pomegranate molasses, so I appreciate all the options (though I think sumac and amchur may fall into the same category for me, heh).

EmilyC
EmilyC November 4, 2014

Hi Kira -- As Nancy commented, the pomegranate molasses does add a unique flavor here -- but it's a small enough quantity that honey is a fine substitute. I've made it both ways and it's good. And bottled roasted peppers are a great shortcut (that's what I use when making this). Hope you like it!

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Kira Fickenscher
Kira Fickenscher November 4, 2014

Right on! Thanks so much for the help, Emily! Shortcuts, here I come!

Maedl
Maedl November 5, 2014

Pomegranate molasses is becoming sufficiently mainstream that it is worth finding a source so you can make other recipes with it. You can find it in a store that sells Middle Eastern or Turkish foods. You can also find sumac there, which adds a sour, lemony note to food. Pomegranate molasses is sold in bottles, which when refrigerated keep an eternity.

If you are in a rural area where Middle Eastern shops are scarce, you can buy pomegranate juice and cook it down until it is syrupy. Be sure pomegranate juice is the main ingredient, and check on the kind of sugar used.

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Kira Fickenscher
Kira Fickenscher November 6, 2014

I finally found it at PCC Natural Markets... can't wait to try it out.

Maedl
Maedl November 6, 2014

Kira, I think you wil have fun using it. A few simple ideas: add about a tablespoon of the syrup to a glass of Prosecco or use as an ingredient in salad dressing. You'll find it used in Turkish recipes. One of my favorites is a lentil-eggplant stew. My Turkish neighbor uses it in tabbouli--the Turkish version is quite different from the Lebanese version we usually make.

ChezHenry
ChezHenry November 5, 2014

Ever since I got hooked on the Ottolenghi books, I've grown to love pomegranate molasses. Alas, I'm in NYC, and can find just about anything. While they're both sweet, the similarities stop there imho.

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