Feel free to substitute agave, honey, or even sugar for the artificial sweetener. Serves 6 as a side dish; can be halved or doubled.
2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 packet artificial sweetener (or 1 tsp agave nectar or honey)
Pinch of black pepper
1 tsp orange zest
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lb asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces
2 nectarines, pitted, cut into wedges
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
2-3 large strawberries, trimmed, cut in half or thirds
In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine pomegranate molasses, vinegar, sweetener, pepper, orange zest and olive oil. Close the jar, and shake to emulsify the dressing. Taste, and adjust seasoning.
Bring a small pot with one inch of water to a boil. Add the asparagus, cover, and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the asparagus are just slightly tender when pierced with the tip of a knife. Remove from the pot, and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Dry the asparagus and add to a mixing bowl along with the nectarines, tomatoes and strawberries. Toss with the dressing, and serve.