Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pom Dinner Party - Insalata Caprese with a Pomegranate/Balsamic Reduction! And a Surprise

There wasn't room in the title, 
but the mozzarella has a surprise stuffing...

Keep reading...

Are you following along, I am covering my 7 course POM DINNER PARTY in detail.  7 courses, 7 different sauces used to make the meal.  Everything from a sweet Pom Grenadine (used to make the drinks), a thick heavy honey like Pom Molasses (used to make the bread), a savory Pom Garlic Infused Sauce (used to make an Olive Tapenade Straw) to... well, the rest have yet to be posted (but will later today and tomorrow... multiple posts each day so come back often).

Today, we will cover the SALAD.  I decided to make an insalata caprese salad, sliced tomato, mozzarella cheese and fresh basil strips, all covered with a sweet tangy Pom Wonderful and Balsamic Viegar reduction sauce.  And, keep reading to get to the surprise...

But first, the Pom/Balsamic reduction sauce...

If you have never made a balsamic reduction, you are missing out on a real treat. Balsamic vinegar in its natural state is sweeter than its white counterpart. When you reduce balsamic vinegar you concentrate the flavors and create a strong sauce as well as something aromatic and sweet. Combine this with the taste of Pomegranate juice and you have something amazing.

Here's what I did...

1 cup Pom Wonderful Pomegranate Juice
1 1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 cup honey

Combine the Pom and vinegar.  Whisk in the honey to emulsify.  Over high heat, continue to whisk until the liquid begins to boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and allow to reduce by 2/3rds.  Stir occasionally so the honey does not stick and burn to the sides of the pot.

you will end up with a slightly thick sauce.  just enough so the sauce sticks to the back of a spoon.  the sauce will be much sweeter, have a concentration of flavors.  And of course, the tang and zip of the pomegranate juice really shines through.

Plate the tomato slice and mozzarella ball, top with a few slivers of basil and drizzle the Pomegranate/Balsomic reduction sauce on the top.

But wait, there's more...

Remember when I promised a surprise center in my Mozzarella.  Well, here it is...

A filling of sweet ricotta cheese, flavored with the fresh made Pomegranate Grenadine sauce used to flavor the drinks (click HERE for that recipe).  Now, a word of warning.  For this next step, use only the best quality truly FRESH MADE Mozzarella.  Do not use anything that comes from the refrigerator case at the grocery store that passes itself off as mozzarella.  No preservatives, no additives, just pure mozzarella.

OK, Here's what I did...

1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese
2 TBS Pomegranate Grenadine
1 pound Fresh Made Mozzarella Cheese

In addition, you need a bowl with HOT (nearly boiling) water.

  • Mix the ricotta cheese and the Pomegranate Grenadine.
  • Heat the water to near boiling and add the mozzarella.  Allow to melt and get stringy.
  • Warning, you will burn your hands (but the taste is worth it).  Pull out about a third cup of the cheese and snip from the ball.
  • Work quickly, while the cheese is still melting, form the cheese into a cup
  • Add a TBS of the sweetened Ricotta into the center of the mozzarella and form a sealed ball around the Riccota.
  • Dunk into the HOT water for a few minutes to get a seal around all the edges.
  • You can do these in advance, but just prior to plating, dunk the balls into HOT water again to warm the mozzarella.
Here's a few photos to show you how easy this is...

Made a wonderful surprise for a common dish!

And if you need a little help in learning to open a Pomegranate to get at the good stuff...

Here's how to open one... VERY neatly (So neatly, I did it over a white towel... No Mess)



  1. Caprese salad is always wonderful. The stuffed mozzarella is very interesting! Sorry we couldn't make it to your dinner party!

  2. Whoa! What a cool twist on Caprese salad. Very inventive. Love it! I'll have to try that balsamic vinegar reduction. I love some Caprese salad.

  3. What a lovely surprise! I've never tried a balsamic reduction, but I love the sound of yours and will have to try one day.