The Secret Ingredient Bobby Flay Adds To Salad Dressing

Bobby Flay is the king of burgers. The grill master seems to know everything you need if you want to create the perfect patty on a bun. Because Flay is so good at making this simple — or maybe not so simple — staple, it's easy to forget that he learned to cook at the French Culinary Institute, according to the Institute of Culinary Education, and he can make a lot of other "stuff," too. Not to mention, everything he cooks looks and sounds delicious, including salads. Yep, Flay can even make rabbit food taste extraordinary. Every celebrity chef has that go-to secret ingredient they use to wow guests when they serve up salad, and the co-host of the "Always Hungry" podcast is no different. 

But Flay's secret ingredient is actually for the dressing, and it isn't something that immediately comes to mind when you are creating a creamy dressing or rich vinaigrette, nor is it an ingredient you probably keep in your pantry. But after you learn what it can do, you might want to start. Flay shared with Food Network his secret ingredient actually hails from the Middle East, and he uses it to create a sweet and savory salad dressing that is perfectly balanced. 

Flay's secret ingredient is pomegranate molasses

Per Food Network, Flay's secret ingredient is pomegranate molasses. Flay shared, "I love to use it to balance out salad dressings." What exactly is pomegranate molasses? The Gourmet Sleuth website explains that this sweet and sour ingredient also goes by the names pomegranate syrup and pomegranate paste, and it is actually a reduction of pomegranate juice. If you can't find this brownish-red syrup in your local grocery store, the site notes that you can make it yourself with some pomegranate juice, a little sugar, and a little lime or lemon.

But how does this ingredient balance flavors? By creating a ying and yang of salt and sweet. The Kitchn shares that the ingredient's taste is "tangy and a little musky," which is why it is such a bright addition to a salad dressing, but this ingredient can be used for so much more. In addition to using it in vinaigrettes like the one he shared with Bon Appétit, Flay uses this ingredient to glaze his chicken (via CBS News) and even for the meat of all meats, bacon. According to Williams-Sonoma, the Iron Chef uses pomegranate molasses to glaze bacon. Flay revealed, "Glazing bacon with something sweet like maple syrup, sorghum syrup or pomegranate molasses (one of my favorite ingredients) creates the ultimate salty-sweet indulgence." Sounds like it's time to start using pomegranate molasses.