The tart ruby juice has a thicker, richer, even more tart cousin.Naomi Duguid

I love the cooked-down syrup made from pomegranate juice. It's tart and complex, a great flavoring ingredient. The thick, dark-red to brown liquid offers a quick and interesting way to add complexity of flavor—a cook's shortcut, you might say. I add a dash to vegetable soups, bean dishes, salad dressing, and marinades.

Perhaps best of all, I blend pomegranate molasses with salt and oil (usually olive oil) to brush onto vegetables before grilling or to make a delicious glaze for grilled or roast chicken, lamb, or pork. The proportions are about two to one: two parts pomegranate molasses to one part oil. A touch of salt balances the flavor. Just whisk together and brush onto vegetables as they go on the grill (or into the oven under the broiler). When grilling meat, brush the molasses on lightly partway through grilling, or at the very end, as we do in the following recipe.

Here's an easy take on sliders that uses pomegranate molasses as a secret ingredient. It's available in Middle Easter grocery stores and at large, well-stocked supermarkets. It is inexpensive and keeps well and for a long time at room temperature. I usually serve these slider patties with rice or bread, a salad, and one or two vegetable slides. Get the recipe for Slider Patties with Pomegranate Molasses.