feast magazine article, mains, salads, sides

feast magazine, april 2015: bitter greens salad with grape molasses-rosemary vinaigrette and grape molasses-candied walnuts.

Feast Magazine, April 2015: bitter greens salad with grape molasses-rosemary vinaigrette and grape molasses-candied walnuts.

Because making recipe titles a paragraph long is what I do, and I do it well.

 I really liked Elizabeth’s comment last round about locating ingredients; so much so that I thought I’d start formatting these a little differently to help out. It’s my mission in the column to unearth unusual ingredients and give you ideas for how to work with it, but I’d also like you to be able to find it. Some months are easy; I have one coming up that I see all the time – in small bins – at grocery stores everywhere, but others require more effort, an online order, or a special trip.

Your location in this great big world will determine how findable things are, but I’m going to help where I can. Locals, I can give you specific locations for some items. Everyone else, i’ll do my level best to pinpoint where to begin your search – what types of stores and so forth – and give you some additional online resources because you can find basically anything on the internets.

Feast Magazine, April 2015: bitter greens salad with grape molasses-rosemary vinaigrette and grape molasses-candied walnuts.

Away we go!

This Month’s Mystery Ingredient: Grape Molasses

Also Goes By: Pekmezi, Petimezi, Üzüm Pekmezi, Mélasse de Raisin

Hails from: Turkey, Greece, Lebanon

Recipes (yes, there are two): Bitter Greens Salad with Grape Molasses-Rosemary Vinaigrette and Grape Molasses-Candied Walnuts

Find it: International markets. I find mine in the Mediterranean section near the pomegranate molasses and rosewater, with halva and sesame candy not far away from it. Locals: this means you can get it at Global Foods Market, and i think that’s Aisle 2 or 3, towards the front of the store, and I’m sure any other well-stocked international market would have it as well. If you have a Middle Eastern market, check there also. It’s available on Amazon, but check around first: their prices are higher than I’ve seen in stores, or you may have to buy 3 (nothing wrong with that, people: lots of uses for it.) Some stores like Whole Foods and Publix (to name a few) have a special order department which could probably order you some as well: call your local store to see if they can get a bottle or two for you.

Feast Magazine, April 2015: bitter greens salad with grape molasses-rosemary vinaigrette and grape molasses-candied walnuts.

Uses: For starters, what I made you in the Feast article is pretty dang delicious, so you could try that. it’s a simple green salad for spring – a little blue cheese, a little fig, some gorgeous mixed bitter greens, and best of all, some walnuts. But not just any walnuts, oh no: candied grape molasses walnuts. Imagine for a minute being able to use a subtly sweet grape jelly to candy your nuts; would you love that? Then you would love these. Also, they’re deeply purple when you’re finished which means you get to add dark purplish nuts to a bright green salad. Everyone will cheer.

As if that wasn’t delicious enough, the whole thing is topped with a grape molasses rosemary vinaigrette, sweet and tart and perfect with this; it brings everything together, and i’d happily eat this (okay, DID happily eat this) as a main course for several days. Other things you can do with it? Drape it over pancakes and waffles, swirl it into homemade sodas and cocktails, glaze some meat, whatever. the world is your…grape?

Feast Magazine, April 2015: bitter greens salad with grape molasses-rosemary vinaigrette and grape molasses-candied walnuts.

I’m really excited about this one, friends: I’m a lifelong fan of grape jelly, and I can’t believe grape molasses isn’t more popular because I don’t know how anyone wouldn’t instantly love it. I have about 8,230 more ideas in my head for how to use it, and i’m hoping to get to work on those soon. In the meantime, read my article about it over at Feast to give yourself a little background, grab a bottle or two of grape molasses, and start randomly pouring it on things; I promise you i’ll find more ways for you to use it in the coming months.

Remember how I told you I was working on a big project a few months back, but I couldn’t tell you what that project was? Guess what: I can tell you now, and it’s this:

Guys: Feast let me make ALL THE LAMB RECIPES FOR YOU THIS APRIL. It’s another feature! They gave me a mission, and that mission was to see how global I could go with different cuts of lamb, and I’m so happy to finally (Finally! That was back in February!) be able to share the recipes with you. I’m taking you on a trip from across continents to explore ways other cultures use lamb, and I’ll be using this space to compel you to cook with it more. That’s up next, but here’s a peek at the feature, which I’m really, really proud of. I learned a lot with this one.

For now, I’m sitting at home typing this, and haven’t seen the print version as of yet; I’ll head out for my monthly hunt later today. I’m eagerly anticipating the magazine because I can’t wait to see how the feature came to life on the pages. Jennifer Silverberg is basically my life partner at this point in terms of our collaborations for Feast (we did this one and this one together and she photographs my column each month), and getting to watch the photos happen for my food are some of the best days ever; the finished product should stun, as her photos so often do. Eeeeeeeeeeee! okay done sorry.

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  • Reply John@Kitchen Riffs March 27, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    We used to live in Florida and shopped at Publix all the time. Loved it! My favorite supermarket, hands down. And they really would order anything you wanted — I used to ask them to order things often. Anyway, haven’t used grape molasses. High time I get around to it, don’t you think? 🙂 Good stuff — thanks.

    • Reply shannon March 30, 2015 at 9:15 am

      Every time we go to Florida, i make the most of my time by visiting Publix often (perhaps more than I should). i LOVE Publix! Probably my favorite as well; they just do such a nice job with their stores and their ordering system can’t be beat.
      Try the grape molasses sometime! It’s not even weird in terms of flavor, and it’s just something you’ll want to use often…i’ve found myself trying to think of more and more ways to incorporate it in my daily life, as i think everyone should. 🙂

  • Reply movita beaucoup March 28, 2015 at 6:41 am

    Every time I come here, I’m all: WAH? I DIDN’T KNOW THAT EXISTED! Grape molasses? Come on! I have a funny feeling I won’t be able to find it here – we don’t have fancy schmancy places like Whole Foods. We DO have Pete’s Frootique, and Pete likes to bring in cool ingredients, so maybe I’ll have to make grape molasses a trend, and then he’ll get it. It’ll be a whole thing…

    • Reply shannon March 30, 2015 at 8:35 am

      I’m on a quest to make grape molasses more of a thing, Rachael. I mean seriously…it’s like liquid grape jelly, only GOOD FOR YOU. DANG HEALTHY, as a matter of fact. Why is it not everywhere? I’ll never know.

      I need you to tell Pete at Pete’s Frootique that he has maybe the best name for a store ever. He sounds like he’d totally get grape molasses.

    • Reply Emma April 14, 2015 at 5:34 pm

      I’m with movita! hah i always feel kind of dumb it’s like, new month, new ingredient I’ve never heard of! It’s so cool to learn about new stuff from you with your gigantic grocery stores and access to such neat stuff:) Thank you!

      • Reply shannon May 6, 2015 at 2:20 pm

        Never feel dumb about my weird ingredients: more often than not, i don’t know that much about it, and it’s just me finding my way around it just like anyone would. I am lucky for sure to have access to lots of things versus having to oder them and spend tons of money (although some are more pricey than others). you guys remind me of that, so thank you.

  • Reply Ashley March 30, 2015 at 10:09 am

    I’m totally cheering! Another feature (yay!) and another I-need-this-now ingredient I never knew about! Seriously, I only discovered a year ago that there was such a thing as sorghum molasses (quite fun, but nowhere near as crazy and fun as pom or grape molasses). You’re keeping me on my toes, lady. And making me hungry. I want those PB+J candied walnuts and each of the lamb recipes look incredible….and I’m not even a big lamb eater.

    • Reply shannon May 6, 2015 at 2:48 pm

      I’ve recently tried sorghum molasses in things…i was a little *sad trombone* about it too, b/c i expected it to be more than it was, maybe? which is not sorghum molasses’ fault, obviously. If you see the grape molasses anywhere, pick it up: i promise greatness.

  • Reply mellissa @ ibreatheimhungry March 30, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    I will be on the hunt for grape molasses for sure – it would be the perfect addition to one of Mr. Hungry’s pizzas as they come out of the oven! My mind is also spinning with delicious ideas – I so love how you introduce even us hard core foodies to things we’ve never heard of! Also, MAD PROPS on your new feature! I checked it out and it’s gorgeous online so I can only imagine that it will stun in print! I especially love the photo of the lamb chops with that bright orange sauce. Your photographer is pretty amazing – I love the cracked marble and her use of white space. Perfection!!! Also now I’m dying for some lamb…

    • Reply shannon May 6, 2015 at 2:51 pm

      Ooooo ON A PIZZA! I love the way you think, Mellissa – can you get Mr. Hungry on that like, immediately because i completely agree…this would have some definite pizza applications…my mind is racing now for this AND for pomegranate molasses holy crap.

      Thank you! That feature was work…like WORK and i’m really proud of it and thank you so, so much for taking the time to read it. My photographer IS like, beyond wonderful…the way she captures things is truly a gift, and it’s great to see. Next time i see her, i’ll pass along your sweet words.

  • Reply Abbe @ This is How I Cook March 30, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    Well, this is drop dead gorgeous. Next tie I stock up on middle Eastern ingredients, I will buy this.. I think I will stock up very soon because this sounds over the top! Now as for the lamb-Manservant would be in 7th heaven. What a challenge and I bet it all tasted spectacular!

    • Reply shannon May 6, 2015 at 2:47 pm

      Thanks, Abbe! It’s so much fun to make, and really festive on a table, for sure! Check by the pomegranate molasses in your store and you should see it.

  • Reply natalie @ wee eats April 1, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    I personally had never heard of grape molasses before you told me about it, and I have yet to see it anywhere. Which is a damn shame BECAUSE I NEED THIS SALAD IN MY LIFE.

    • Reply shannon May 6, 2015 at 2:46 pm

      AND NOW YOU HAVE HAD THE SALAD IN YOUR LIFE! tell me when you need a refill on your molasses. 🙂

  • Reply elizabeth April 1, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    I feel so special inspiring a tweak to your column! One of the things that’s great about coming back to living in a real city is being able to find all of the fun markets because as much fun as Fairway is to find certain foods, they clearly couldn’t carry EVERYTHING, so I want to take a page from your book and start really wandering around the local markets. The big farmers market starts up in May and I’m really stoked to check that out, but in the meantime it’s high time to go beyond my neighborhood to see what’s available.

    Grape molasses, huh? The notion intrigues me, even though for me molasses means the black strap stuff that my dad would pour on buttered toast. I will have to check it out if only to make those walnuts as they look utterly DIVINE.

    • Reply shannon May 6, 2015 at 2:45 pm

      Thank you for inspiring it! I actually just updated my current weird ingredient post because in my haste to get it out, i forgot to do my little fact sheet…problem solved! I’ve had lots of feedback that it’s very helpful being able to see what else things could be called (b/c seriously, some things have so many names) and where to find it. Let me know if you see anything super weird at your farmers’ market up there! I’m always adding to my list for future columns, and farmers markets are a great place to explore for new things.

      Grape molasses: EVERYONE should have it. this summer i’m working on more applications for it because it’s just…i mean it’s really something. a personal favorite. Very much the consistency of blackstrap molasses (maybe a wee bit thinner) and really this really deep, mysterious, grapey flavor, but not in a fake way. amazing.

  • Reply Emma April 14, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    Woo hoo! Congrats on another feature, you! Kickin ass, and taking….. a lot of lamb home to make up delicious recipes!

    • Reply shannon May 6, 2015 at 2:18 pm

      Hell yeah, Emma: thank you so much! This one was work, and lots of meat up in here (when usually there’s not that much, to be honest.) I thought i’d hate lamb by the time i was done, but as it turns out…i miss it. i should make something soon.

      and i miss YOU, girl! gotta get caught up with my people.

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