We have a wonderful and very fun friend, Amy, who recently celebrated a birthday. To our delight, she invited us for an evening glass of vino to cheer her new year. I mentioned that Amy is a great lady, what I did not mention is her prowess in the kitchen. It is phenomenal. She cooks all day, every day, for her husband and two daughters. She has never admitted it, but I think one of her goals is to copy the covers of all the cooking magazines that come out. The fact that her husband is a bona fide grill master only helps. Getting back to this post, contrary to our cultural custom, upon leaving her house for the evening it was the guests who parted with a gift, from the birthday girl. A bottle of pomegranate molasses. What could I do with this I thought. As Amy commented to me after I put this dish together, “I knew you would figure it out.”
It’s only within the past few years that I’ve become a fan of pomegranates. For the longest time, I was under the delusion that harvesting the seeds of this power fruit was arduous and time consuming. A year or so ago a friend showed me how to get them out in about a minute or less. Stay tuned for an upcoming food flash here on Platter Talk and we will share a video to show you how it’s done.
I really had no idea what to do with that little bottle of pomegranate molasses that Amy sent home with us. A sauce of some sort seemed the obvious route to go down and with that thought I got out my small saute pan and fired up my stove, and my grill.
A compote is classically defined as a fruit cooked in syrup. With a molasses base in this jar, it wasn’t syrup we had although the fruit was there as was the consistency. How about a little more fruit and a few other touches to make this a bit more syrupy and yet suitable as an accompaniment to a dinner entree?
While putting this topping together over the stove, I wasn’t completely convinced that the finished product would have an appropriate flavor profile to accompany anything. A little of this, a dash of that, a few more blueberries and things seemed be be moving steadily in the right direction.
In the mean time, a couple of gorgeous and meaty salmon fillets were put on the grill, using an indirect heating technique that I had read somewhere which would help prevent them from drying out. Once again to try something different, I crowned them with some lime wedges, allowing the juice to slowly bath the fish while it turned pink, tender, and flaky while on top of the grates.
Fifteen minutes or so after placing the salmon on the grill, the moment of truth was upon us. The compote looked great, the fish looked equally alluring, but would the two get along together?
Sometimes a little faith and patience goes a long ways, including in the kitchen. The unique savory flavor of the molasses and fruit was perfectly tempered by the mellow sweetness of the meal’s star, the salmon fillets. Or was the compote the evening’s star? Either way, it became quickly apparent that this entree is a winner. Here’s to good friends and good food. Thanks especially to our friend Amy and may she celebrate many more happy birthdays down the road and around the dinner table.
Never Miss Another Platter Talk Recipe
Grilled Salmon with Blueberry & Pomegranate Molasses Compote
- 2 8 oz salmon fillet
- 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
- 2 tablespoons ages balsamic vinegar
- 1 pinch sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- juice from 1/2 lime
- 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
- seeds from 1/2 pomegranate
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
Pre-heat grill on high
Using small saute pan over medium heat, add all the ingredients, except for salmon, stir and bring to a gentle simmer.
Reduce heat, while continuing to stir, and crush some of the blueberries to allow their juices to blend with the compote.
Reduce heat, cover until ready to serve.
Turn center burners of grill to off, and reduce heat of surrounding burners to medium.
Place salmon fillets, skin side down, on center of grill over the burners that are off.
Place a couple of lemon wedges over salmon, squeezing a bit of juice over meat.
Close cover of grill and allow to cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until pink, tender, and flaky throughout.
Serve immediately, spooning compote over salmon.
Garnish with additional blueberries and lemon wedges.