Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Bulgur Salad with Pomegranate Dressing and Toasted Nuts
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This cracked wheat salad comes from the Middle East. It's a bit like tabbouleh but it's more complex and made uniquely flavorful by the addition of toasted nuts and pomegranate molasses. I found the recipe in the New York Times where it had been adapted from one developed by Claudia Roden who wrote the Book of Jewish Food and Arabesque. The bulgur wheat used in this recipe is coarser than that used in tabbouleh. The recipe also uses pomegranate molasses, a tart but sweet reduction of pomegranate juice that has the consistency of maple syrup. It is available in most grocery stores and it can be made at home if you're feeling adventurous. A recipe for Pomegranate Molasses can be found at Simply Recipes. I like to serve this salad with Greek and Lebanese meals. It's also wonderful for alfresco dining and picnics - there are no eggs or mayonnaise to worry about going bad. I like to make this several hours before I plan to serve it. Here's the recipe.
Bulgur Salad with Pomegranate Dressing and Toasted Nuts...From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
2-3/4 cups bulgur, preferably coarse-ground
3/4 cup olive oil
6 tablespoons pomegranate molasses, available at Middle Eastern markets
Juice of 2 lemons, or to taste
6 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon cayenne, or more to taste
2 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, about 1 cup
1) Put bulgur in a large bowl and cover with cold, lightly salted water. Let soak until tender, from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on coarseness of bulgur. Drain in a sieve, firmly pressing out excess water, and transfer to a serving bowl.
2) Whisk olive oil with pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, tomato paste and spices. Add salt and pepper and taste; mixture should be pleasingly tangy. Add more pomegranate molasses and lemon juice as needed.
3) Pour half the dressing over bulgur and mix well. Set aside to absorb for about 10 minutes. Taste for salt, adding more if needed. Add half the remaining dressing, all the nuts and parsley, and mix well. Before serving, taste again and add more dressing as needed. Yield: 8 to 10 servings.