Silvena Rowe, executive chef of London's exquisite restaurant Quince at the May Fair Hotel, invites you on a journey through Eastern Mediterranean history and its culinary secrets. Here, the olive oil, rosemary, and basil of the West meet the exotic spices of the East for a contemporary cuisine of surprising lightness and variety.
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Here's the recipe as it appears in Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume:
Tomato, Pomegranate and Sumac Salad with a Pomegranate Dressing
The combination of sumac and tomato was made in heaven. This salad is best in the summertime when you can buy tomatoes that have not been grown in a greenhouse, when they are sweet and delicious. I discovered this salad on my very first trip to Istanbul. It is very common and the simplest of salads, but I was blown away by it!
- 6 ripe plum tomatoes
- Seeds of 1 pomegranate
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Pomegranate Molasses (See recipe below)
- 1 teaspoon crushed sumac
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- Sea salt and freshly ground
Slice the tomatoes and place in a large bowl. Add the pomegranate seeds and combine. Mix together the olive oil, pomegranate molasses, sumac and cumin in a bowl. Pour over the salad, season with salt and pepper and gently toss. Serve at once.
A thick syrup, made from boiling down pomegranate juice and sugar. It is sweet and
sour at the same time. Delicious as a dressing, for marinating meat, or added to
slow-cooked stews. Pomegranate molasses is also great to make drinks with. Readily available
at Mediterranean markets, but easy to make at home. Here is a homemade version:
- 1 quart bottled pomegranate juice
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
In a large, uncovered saucepan, over medium heat, stir all ingredients until
the sugar has completely dissolved. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for roughly 1 hour,
or until the juice has a syrupy consistency and has reduced to roughly 1 cupful. Pour
out into a jar.
Allow to cool, then store in refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.
Reprinted from Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume: Cuisine of the Eastern Mediterranean
by Silvena Rowe copyright © 2011. Used with permission of the publisher, The Ecco Press, and HarperCollins Publishers.
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