I rarely rave about my own recipes but this is one I can just go on and on about. The definition of freshness with its sweet and sour late-summer flavours, it is also an utter delight to look at. But the most incredible thing about it is that it uses a few ingredients that I have been lovingly cooking with for many years, and believed I knew everything there was to know about, yet had never thought of mixing them in such a way. That is, until I travelled to Istanbul and came across a similar combination of fresh tomatoes and pomegranate seeds in a famous local kebab restaurant called Hamdi, right by the Spice Bazaar. It was a proper light-bulb moment when I realised how the two types of sweetness – the sharp, almost bitter sweetness of pomegranate and the savoury, sunny sweetness of tomato – can complement each other so gloriously. I use four types of tomato here to make the salad more interesting visually and in flavour. You can easily use fewer, just as long as they are ripe and sweet.
It was a proper light-bulb moment when I realised how the two types of sweetness – the sharp, almost bitter sweetness of pomegranate and the savoury, sunny sweetness of tomato – can complement each other so gloriously.
- 200 g red cherry tomatoes, cut into 0.5 cm dice
- 200 g yellow cherry tomatoes, cut into 0.5 cm dice
- 200 g tiger (or plum) tomatoes, cut into 0.5 cm dice
- 500 g medium vine tomatoes, cut into 0.5 cm dice
- 1 red pepper, cut into 0.5 cm dice (120 g)
- 1 small red onion, finely diced (120 g)
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- ½ tsp ground allspice
- 2 tsp white wine vinegar
- 25 ml pomegranate molasses
- 60 ml olive oil, plus a little extra to finish
- seeds of 1 large pomegranate (170 g)
- ¾ tbsp small oregano leaves
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Mix together the tomatoes, red pepper (capsicum) and onion in a large bowl and set aside.
In a small bowl whisk the garlic, allspice, vinegar, pomegranate molasses, olive oil and ⅓ teaspoon of salt, until well combined. Pour this over the tomatoes and gently mix.
Arrange the tomatoes and their juices on a large flat plate. Sprinkle over the pomegranate seeds and oregano. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and serve.
Recipe from Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi (Ebury Press, $49.99, hbk). Photography by Jonathan Lovekin.