Whilst a yogurt dressing tames the pungent kick of radishes, the tart and sweet pomegranate molasses elevates it. The two ingredients work together to bring the best flavours out of fresh radishes. This is a dish for those who like radishes served as a salad.

There was a display of beautiful radishes in the market. A circle of grandmotherly ladies huddled over the radishes and oohed and aahed over how pretty they were and argued about the best way to prepare them. It was entertaining. I myself wasn’t quite sure how I would eat them at that time. I was simply taken in by their shocking pink shade.

As I had just bought 5 pomegranates a day earlier, I decided to combine the 2 ingredients to make a fresh salad. I used ~one and a half pomegranates to make molasses to dress the radish. The salad was so delicious, I ate the whole plate of salad that you see in my feature image, in one sitting.  If you think you will be stuck with too much pomegranate molasses, you will not. It is quite addictive and there are so many uses for it. Scroll down to ‘Tips’ for ideas. If you do not want to make the molasses, you could always buy a bottle as they are quite readily available nowadays in specialty stores and in some supermarkets.

Radish Pomegranate Salad With Yogurt Dressing & Pomegranate Molasses

Prep: ~10 minutes if you buy the Pomegranate Molasses
~15 -20 minutes if you make your own
Cook: ~1 hour to make Pomegranate Molasses
Inactive:
Level: Easy if you buy the Pomegranate Molasses.
Intermediate if you make the Pomegranate Molasses.
Serves: ~2 – 3 as part of a meal.
Oven Temperature:
Can recipe be doubled? Yes
Make ahead? Pomegranate Molasses keeps at least 1 month in the refrigerator.

Ingredients

1 cup=8.45oz=250ml

Pomegranate Molasses*

2 large pomegranates (reserve 1/2 of one fruit)**  
1/4 – 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice

Other ingredients
If making Pomegranate Molasses

reserve half of 1 pomegranate (from the 2 stated in recipe) to scatter arils over salad
If buying Pomegranate Molasses
1 small pomegranate as the arils are to be scattered over the salad
2 Tablespoons Pomegranate Molasses

2 young (not those baby-sized ones although you could use them) radishes (~7.76oz)(~220g)
2 – 4 Tablespoons labneh/greek yogur/creme fraiche***
2 – 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sprig of dill
Salt and black pepper
*  If not making Pomegranate Molasses (do not mistake it for juice), Pomegranate Molasses can be purchased from specialty and health food stores and I have seen them in better stocked supermarkets along the specialty food aisle (not in the chillers). Store-bought Pomegranate Molasses keep well unrefrigerated.
** Don’t want to squeeze the pomegranate for juice but still want to make Pomegranate Molasses? Substitute with ~1 cup store-bought pure pomegranate juice with no added sugar and not from concentrate. I would not head for the chiller section. Those found there are often full of added sugar or are mixed with other fruits. Instead, look for it along the organic food, drinks or the speciality food aisles in supermarkets, health food and specialty stores. Homemade Pomegranate Molasses can be stored at least a month, refrigerated. For other uses, please scroll down to ‘Tips’ section.
*** Labneh is yogurt that has been drained overnight to remove excess whey so that you get a nice thick cream-like consistency. It’s super easy to make and there are many uses for it. Click, Labneh, Yogurt Cheese. Alternatively, use greek (or greek style) yogurt without draining but the dressing will be looser. It has a thicker viscosity  than regular set yogurt. Using regular set yogurt will make the dressing too watery. Be sure to drain to get labneh. Creme fraiche is luscious thick cream with a slight sour tang. They are sold in little tubs. No need to drain before using on the salad. 

Method

Make pomegranate molasses
1. The molasses making process would be much easier if you went to the store to buy a bottle of pomegranate juice. Read the list of ingredients to ensure that you are buying pure pomegranate juice with no added sugar and that it is not from concentrate.
2. If you are squeezing your own pomegranate juice, slice the fruit crosswise into two. Then choose one of the following options:
(i) Use a teaspoon to scoop out the arils. Alternatively, use the back of a wooden spoon to whack the back of the cut fruit to release the arils. The most efficient way to get juice is to run the arils through a fruit juicer.
(ii) Remove arils same way as in (i) then, use a food processor and process till fine. Strain through a sieve, pressing down on arils to get all the juice. Discard the seeds.
(iii) Squeeze the juice out by using an orange squeezer. Strain through a sieve, pressing down on arils to get all the juice. Discard seeds.
3. Add juice, sugar, ~1/4 – 1/2 cup depending on how sweet the pomegranate juice is, and lemon juice to a pot and bring contents to boil over medium-high heat. Continue to boil down until you have a syrup that clings to a spoon almost like honey but not as thick. Takes about 45 – 60 minutes. There is no need to cook it down to a sticky syrup as the syrup will thicken further as it cools. If you do over boil it and it turns into a near toffee, add 1/2 Tablespoon of hot water to start with to thin it down. A syrup with a viscosity slightly looser than honey is what you are after. Remove from the burner and cool completely before using.

4. Store in sterilised clean jars and in the refrigerator.

The salad
1. Mix a little salt into the labneh/yogurt/creme fraiche.  It is best to use a mandoline to slice the radishes as thinly as possible.
2. Coat the radishes with the yogurt. Taste and adjust seasoning. Overlap the radishes on your serving platter so that you have one flat layer. This ensures that each slice of the radish will be well dressed in pomegranate molasses, etcetera.
3. Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil and then the pomegranate molasses over the radishes.
4. Dust with black pepper and salt. Sprinkle on the pomegranate arils and finely cut dill. Drizzle on more extra virgin olive oil to finish.

Tips

What to do with pomegranate molasses
1. Use it in place of honey over cereal, yogurt, museli, in salad dressings, on ice cream, sorbets, over the cream on pavlovas, pancakes, waffles…
2. Dilute it to poach fruits.
3. Use it in savoury dishes as a glaze for chicken, pork,…
4. In a cocktail. Grenadine syrup, made from pomegranates, is after all an essential component in many a cocktail. Shirley Temples, Tequila Sunrise, Pink Lady, …
5. Dilute with water, add ice and enjoy. Also good as a hot beverage.
6. Eat it with a spoon, sparingly of course..

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