Cucumbers with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

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Cucumbers with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
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Pomegranate Molasses gives this cucumber salad a pungent and spicy flavor that is sure to please.

Yields: Serves 4-8


4 cucumbers

1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro

1/4 cup flax or extra-virgin olive oil

3 T pomegranate molasses

2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 T Dijon mustard

7 cloves garlic, pressed or pounded to a paste in a mortar with:

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp toasted cumin seeds, ground

1/4 tsp ground red chile, or cayenne


Peel the cucumbers and cut in half lengthwise. If the seeds are coarse, scoop them out with a spoon. *See Tip below if making the salad in advance. Cut them into slices about 3/8-inch thick and place them in a large bowl with the cilantro.

Place the cumin seeds in a small skillet or saucepan and toast them over high heat. Shake constantly to prevent them from burning. As soon as the seeds darken and release their fragrance, remove the pan from the heat and tip the seeds into the mortar. Pound the seeds to a powder. If you don't have a mortar, crush the seeds on a cutting board with the back of a wooden spoon.

Add the peeled garlic and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pound until it forms a mushy paste.

If you don't have a mortar then mash the garlic and salt with the side of a knife on your cutting board. Or, press it through a garlic press.

Place the garlic paste or pressed garlic in a bowl and add the oil, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, mustard, toasted cumin and chile. Whisk until the mixture emulsifies. Add the cucumber slices and cilantro and toss well.

Additional Tips

*If you are making the salad in advance, place the cucumber slices in a colander and sprinkle with a half teaspoon of the salt. Toss well and let the cucumbers drain in the sink for about 15 minutes. Rinse well under running water and drain thoroughly.

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Recipe by
Alan Roettinger