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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 June 2018

My key ingredient: pomegranate

Gorg Nader, chef de cuisine at Manzil Downtown, explains why pomegranate is his favourite ingredient, and how this simple sandwich makes the most of its fresh and fruity flavour

A grilled cheese, zaatar and pomegranate sandwich by Gorg Nader, chef de cuisine at Manzil Downtown.
A grilled cheese, zaatar and pomegranate sandwich by Gorg Nader, chef de cuisine at Manzil Downtown.
Gorg Nader, chef de cuisine at Manzil Downtown, Dubai. Courteesy Manzil Downtown
Gorg Nader, chef de cuisine at Manzil Downtown

There are so many to choose from, but one of my favourite ingredients of all time is pomegranate. I grew up in Lebanon, so we use pomegranate in various ways – either in its natural form, or as a syrup to add flavour to salads and other savoury items. Not only does it add a fresh and fruity flavour to any dish – it is also very healthy. Whether you use it to cook something savoury or sweet, it adds a very unique flavour that you can’t get with any other ingredient.

Grilled cheese, zaatar and pomegranate sandwich (serves four)

Preparation time: 15 minutes

What you need:

8 slices of bread

200g cheesecake cheese

200g mozzarella cheese (peeled)

200g Akkawi cheese

2 red tomatoes (finely sliced)

2 yellow tomatoes (finely sliced)

2 brown tomatoes (finely sliced)

1 cup fresh thyme leaves

3 tablespoons dried thyme

1 cup fresh pomegranate seeds

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

Method:

Place eight slices of bread on a flat surface. Divide the cheese into four equal portions. Place the cheese on one side of the bread, then add the tomatoes, fresh thyme, dried dill and pomegranate seeds. Butter the other side of the bread, and close the sandwich. Heat a pan over medium to low heat using olive oil, and place the sandwich in the pan. Cook for eight to ten minutes, until the cheese melts and the bread turns golden brown.