I’ve been cooking with Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Vegan with a Vengeance for years, but there are a few really standout recipes. One of my very favorites- and best dinner party dish to share- is the Pomegranate Molasses BBQ sauce. I’ve used it on tofu, tempeh, seitan and just veggies, so it doesn’t matter what you choose to cook it with, just cook it up soon. This recipe introduced me to both liquid smoke and pomegranate molasses (a thick, super-tart Lebanese condiment made from concentrated pomegranate juice), and it continues to surprise me with a depth of flavor and a richness that is unparalleled. If you can’t find pomegranate molasses, substitute regular molasses, but add a bit of lemon to tart it up.
Pomegranate Molasses BBQ Sauce
(adapted from Vegan with a Vengeance with love. This yields over two cups of sauce, but why not make a double batch and freeze it so you can have impromptu barbeques?)
1 Tablespoon peanut oil
½ cup shallots, sliced
2 cloves garlic, or more
½ teaspoon five-spice powder (pepper, cloves, fennel, anise, cinnamon)
more black pepper to taste
1 (six-ounce) can tomato sauce
2 Tablespoons natural peanut butter
2 Tablespoon Pomegranate Molasses (or honey)
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 cup broth or water
- Heat peanut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until nice and browned. Add garlic, and cook a few more minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix together the remaining ingredients (except broth) in a large glass bowl and whisk well to combine, until peanut butter is dissolved.
- Lower heat on skillet, and add liquid mixture to the skillet, stirring to incorporate the shallots. Add broth, and simmer on low for 20 minutes, stirring intermittently. Add more salt/pepper/spices to taste.
- Use as a marinade for tempeh, tofu, or seitan, or just pour over your rice and veggies. This sauce keeps for a week or so in the fridge. Enjoy!
Some notes: I’ve also used onions to replace the shallots in this recipe, but I don’t recommended it. The shallots are a bit milder and really add a nice flavor. Splurge on the shallots! Also, I’ve always used my own, on-the-fly five-spice blend of pinches of cloves, fennel, etc. But you can also buy pre-made mixtures. Additionally, you could amp up the spices by adding some cayenne or chipotle.