Bulgur Wheat and Walnut Salad with Tamarind-Pomegranate Dressing
Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser
Prep Time: 20 minutes Soaking Time: 1 hour Cook Time: 6 minutes
This wheat and nut salad, perked up with tart tamarind and extra pow from pomegranate, is a surprisingly refreshing change from its more well-known cousin tabouli. Called "bazargan salad" in Syria, this is great as part of a mezze spread of little dishes and equally lovely under grilled lamb, chicken, or even a halloumi cheese.
2 teaspoons salt, divided
2 cups fine bulgur wheat
1 tablespoon walnut oil
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons tamarind paste
¼ cup pomegranate molasses
Juice and zest of 2 lemons, or to taste
2 shallots, peeled and finely minced
½ cup pomegranate seeds
1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely diced
¼ teaspoon kirmizi pepper, optional
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- In a large mixing bowl, combine 5 cups cold water and 1 teaspoon salt and mix gently. Add the bulgur wheat and mix gently. Set aside to soak for 1 hour, or until tender but not mushy. Drain in a fine-mesh sieve. Return the bulgur to the bowl, cover with a damp paper towel, and set aside.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 385°F. Spray a nonstick rimmed baking sheet with nonstick vegetable oil spray. In a small mixing bowl, combine the walnut oil, cumin, coriander, allspice, and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Add the walnuts and mix gently to coat. Spread out on the prepared pan in an even layer and bake for 3 minutes. Stir gently. Bake for another 2 to 3 minutes, until toasted, fragrant, and lightly browned. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the tamarind, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, and zest and whisk to combine.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the bulgur, shallots, pomegranate seeds, jalapeño, and kirmizi pepper if using, and toss gently to combine.
- Drizzle the olive oil into the tamarind-pomegranate mixture, whisking vigorously until blended (see Kitchen Tips), and pour the resulting dressing over the bulgur. Mix to coat, and transfer to a serving platter or bowl. Garnish with the spiced walnuts and serve immediately.
- If your bowl wobbles around precariously while you are whisking with one hand and pouring with the other, dampen a kitchen towel and fashion it into a round “nest” on your kitchen counter. Nestle the bowl into it securely and continue whisking and pouring.