Look for pomegranate molasses in ethnic foods aisle or with the sweeteners in natural foods stores. If you can’t find it, substitute an equal amount of pomegranate juice (though, it is really not the same). Also, selecting the right tofu is essential here. Look for the extra-firm variety swimming in minimal liquid.
Makes 6 kabobs.
Ingredients of Favorite Grilled Kabob:
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
- flakes or 1 small red chile
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3/4 cup walnuts, toasted
- 1/4 cup whole-grain bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 2 to 3 roasted red peppers
- 1/2 to 1 cup warm water
- 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- 2 red onions, each cut into 6 wedges
- 3 lemons, each cut into 4 lengthwise wedges
- 12 ounces extra-firm tofu, cut into 12 equal-sized cubes
- 12 mushrooms
- extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
- fine-grain sea salt
Special equipment: 6 wooden skewers
Directions for Favorite Grilled Kabob:
- Prepare a medium-hot grill; if the temperature is right, you should be able to hold your hand a few inches above the grate for 4 or 5 seconds.
- In the meantime, make the muhammara. Using a hand blender (preferably) or a conventional blender, puree the chile flakes, cumin, walnuts, bread crumbs, olive oil, pomegranate molasses, tomato paste, and red peppers to a smooth, even consistency. Mix in the warm water in increments to achieve an easily spreadable consistency similar to a thick yogurt. If you¹re going to use it for dipping, you might want to leave it a bit thicker. Stir in the salt and adjust the seasonings if needed.
- When constructing kabobs, I don¹t bother soaking wood skewers in water. I just load them up with food from tip to tip, which seems to solve any problems with the wood igniting. Onto 6 medium-length skewers, thread an onion wedge, a lemon wedge, a cube of tofu, and a mushroom, then repeat. Brush each kabob generously with olive oil and season with salt. Put the kabobs on the grill and cover. Cook, rotating regularly and brushing with olive oil every few minutes, until the onions are tender, about 12 minutes altogether.
- To eat, slather with the muhammara, slide off the skewers. and squeeze the juice from the roasted lemons over everything.