bulgur wheat salad with pomegranate molasses
Bulgar wheat salad with pomegranate molasses keeps company with nuts and parsley to produce a dish with texture and tang. Lebanon’s most famous salad, “tabbouleh“, is often thought of as a bulgur wheat salad. However, the main ingredient is parsley, as Lebanese food writer and chef, Anissa Helou, points out. This recipe puts bulgur wheat at the centre, with a delicious sweet sour pomegranate dressing – an impressive and nourishing salad easily made with a touch of chopping.The handy thing about bulgur wheat is that it’s parboiled, so only needs to be soaked in boiling water and given time to swell. When warm it absorbs flavours well, and is a perfect vehicle for the citrusy zing of Zejd’s pomegranate molasses. With the added crunch from the nuts, green from the parsley, the beautiful pomegranate seeds add a jewel-like touch to a healthy salad.
Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients. This recipe from Claudia Roden’s recipe book The Med uses a variety of nuts, but use whatever you’ve got in the cupboard – it’s a forgiving salad. The spices and the pomegranate molasses are useful ingredients for your kitchen cupboard, providing interesting flavours for many a recipe The pomegranate seeds are not essential but look beautiful.
Any left-over salad is a useful portable lunch the following day.
250g bulgur wheat
400ml boiling water, slightly salted
100ml Zejd extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp Zejd pomegranate molasses
juice of 2 1/2 lemons
4 tbsp tomato purée
1-11/2 tbsp harissa or other hot pepper paste
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground allspice
100g walnuts, lightly toasted
100g hazelnuts, lightly toasted
50g pistachios, lightly toasted
50g pine nuts, lightly toasted
large bunch (50g) of flat-leaf parsley, leaves chopped
salt to taste
pomegranate seeds, to garnish (optional)
- Tip the bulgur wheat into a bowl big enough so that you can toss the grains.Pour the boiling water over the bulgur and leave to soak for 30 minutes. Mix the grains up well, to make sure the water has been evenly absorbed and the grains are not clumped together.
- In another bowl, add the pomegranate molasses and oil, with a little salt, and beat well until the liquids are emulsified. Then add the lemon juice, tomato purée, harissa, ground cumin, coriander and allspice beating until all is well blended. Pour over the bulgur and keep stirring to make sure all the grains absorb the dressing.Taste, adding more salt if needed.
- Chop the walnuts, hazelnuts and pistachios but not too finely. Add them to the bulgur along with the pine nuts and the chopped parsley. Scatter a few pomegranates on top for colour.
Serve alongside Greek-style yoghurt and some crispy little gem lettuce leaves to scoop up the salad.