Middle Eastern Tomato Salad


Salty olives, sweet tomatoes, crunchy pomegranate, fresh mint, and wonderfully tangy pomegranate molasses, this salad will send your taste buds into a tizzy. It serves 8-10, but feel free to halve or double the recipe according to your needs. It stays good for two days in the fridge, but I can’t promise you it’ll make it that long.

  • 1 medium white onion, finely sliced
  • ¼ cup pomegranate molasses*
  • Salt
  • 4 large tomatoes (or 5 medium ones), cut into large chunks
  • ½ cup fresh mint, finely sliced
  • 1 cup chopped green olives
  • 1 pomegranate, seeds bashed out**
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

*This is boiled down pomegranate juice, which becomes thick, syrupy, and tangy. You can find it in Middle Eastern shops, online, and perhaps even in some supermarkets. It’s much cheaper to buy than to make it yourself, though you can do that too.

**My favorite way to get the pomegranate seeds out of their little insulated capsules is the following: before cutting the fruit, roll the pomegranate around while applying gentle pressure against it. You’ll hear the seeds start to crunch, which means that they’re loosening from their hold. Now cut the pomegranate in two, and hold one half in your hand over a bowl, cut-side down with your fingers apart. Take a heavy wooden spoon and bring it down with moderate force over the pomegranate until the seeds fly into the bowl.


Place the sliced white onion in a large serving platter with raised sides, and add the pomegranate molasses and a large pinch of salt before mixing together. Let sit while you cut the tomatoes (2-4 minutes), then add those to the onions and mix well. Add the mint, olives, and pomegranate seeds, mix lightly then taste for seasoning. Does it need more salt? More tangy molasses? Up to you! Drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil and enjoy on its own, with my spanakopita, or on some charred bread.



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