the taste space

Turkish Bulgur, Pomegranate and Almond Salad

Posted in Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian), Salads by Janet M on August 11, 2010


I love when I discover new healthy ingredients. (I have totally fallen in love with pomegranate molasses now, but I am not talking about that infatuation.)

I recently visited Shelburne Farms, a working farm estate using sustainable farming and environmental practices, in Shelburne, Vermont.  We had a fabulous dinner at their Inn, but snuck in a tasty salad from their Farm Barn for lunch. It was an incredibly delicious balsamic bulgur salad with fresh produce from their organic gardens. I have cooked with fine bulgur before, but this salad used coarse bulgur. It was delicious, creamy and plump at the same time. It was a lovely play of textures for my tongue, in addition to the fresh flavours from their garden. When I returned home, I picked up some coarse bulgur to make my own salad (I used Bob’s Red Mill Cracked Bulgur).**

This is definitely one superb salad. Absolutely delicious!  Dare I suggest the best salad ever?  Oh yes!

This is a Turkish recipe, based on kisir, a bulgur salad with tomato.  Mine was adapted from Desert Candy, who adapted it from Food & Wine (January 2004).  The creamy bulgur is mixed with soft charred cherry tomatoes, crunchy toasted almonds and nutty, creamy chickpeas. Pomegranate seeds add flavour and pop. The dressing wraps everything together – sweet and tart from the pomegranate molasses, tart from the lemon juice and a bit of a kick from the Aleppo chili flakes. I loved it!  The bulgur can absorb a lot of the dressing, so I dressed the salad just before serving.

I wanted to highlight how wonderful the salad was before anyone got turned off by the health benefits of bulgur.  In a 1/4 cup (raw), there are only 140 calories but also 7g of fibre and 5g of protein. It has less calories and more nutritious than brown rice, with more iron and calcium and less fat. But most importantly, it tastes great. I love the paradoxical creaminess. It is completely different than fine bulgur. Some say that fine bulgur is best for salads and kibbeh (meatballs), and coarse bulgur is better for pilafs and main dishes. But here, I loved the coarse bulgur as a salad.

Run, do not walk, to make this incredibly tasty and healthy salad.


I plan on investigating more salads with coarse bulgur, and here are others that have caught my eye:

Basil and Bulgur Salad (aka Pesto Tabouli) by Fat Free Vegan
Bulgur Salad with Cranberries by Delicious Days
Bulgur Salad with Chickpeas and Red Peppers by Smitten Kitchen
Bulgur Salad with Feta, Olives and Sun-dried Tomatoes by Feelgood Eats
Chickpea & Bulgur Salad with Soft Boiled Egg & Breadcrumbs by Bitchin Camero
Chickpea Hot Pot by 101 Cookbooks
Beautiful Bulgar and Spinach Pilaf with Labneh and Chili Roast Tomatoes by 101 Cookbooks
Herbed and Honeyed Bulgur Wheat Nut Salad by Not Quite Nigella
Bulgur Salad with Oranges, Cashews & Fresh Herbs by Enlightened Cooking
Balsamic Roasted Onions with Bulgur, Cinnamon & Pine Nuts by Made by Frances
Broccoli Rabe with Bulgur and Walnuts by Bon Appetit
Bulgur and Grape Salad with Walnuts and Currants by Fine Cooking

**Remember how I ventured across town to buy pomegranate molasses for muhammara? Well, when I found coarse bulgur at No Frills (Eglinton/Victoria Park), they had pomegranate molasses as well! Along with orange blossom water and rose water (on sale, to boot!). It astounds me what I can find in grocery stores in Toronto if you look in the right neighbourhood. So there you have it, you can find pomegranate molasses at No Frills in Toronto. I even updated my post for other local seekers of pomegranate molasses.


This is my submission to Ricki and Kim’s vegan SOS challenge featuring mint, this month’s My Legume Love Affair, hosted by Simona at Briciole, to PJ for this month’s Healing Foods featuring tomatoes, to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays, to Nithu for this month’s Cooking with Whole Foods featuring chickpeas, to Blog Bites #6, potluck-style, hosted by One Hot Stove, to Torview’s food palette series featuring red dishes, to Jayasri for this month’s Cooking with Seeds featuring pomegranate seeds, to this week’s Healthy Vegan Fridays and finally, to AWED, featuring Turkish cuisine this month, hosted by me. (This recipe was meant to be shared!) :)

Turkish Bulgur, Pomegranate and Almond Salad

1 cup coarse bulgur (or quinoa), prepared according to package directions
1 cup cooked chickpeas
2 cups cherry tomatoes, about 1 pint, halved
1/2 cup almonds, slivered
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (about 1/2 of a large pomegranate)
1/3 cup chopped mint
zest from 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste

2 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Aleppo chili pepper flakes

1. Prepare bulgur or quinoa according to package directions. Meanwhile, turn on your broiler. Place halved cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet. Place tomatoes under the broiler for 8-10 minutes, until softened. Transfer tomatoes to a bowl but leave the broiler on.
2. Scatter almonds on the same baking sheet and slip under the broiler just for a minute or two, until toasted but not burned (watch them carefully!).
3. Combine cooked quinoa/bulgur, chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, almonds, pomegranate seeds, mint, lemon zest and salt in a large bowl. Toss to combine.
4. Combine the pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, olive oil and chili flakes. Add the dressing just prior to serving.

Serves 4-6.

47 Responses

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  1. Rob said, on August 11, 2010 at 7:18 AM

    Best Salad Ever? That’s a bold claim! I do have fond memories of that Mexican Salad, though.

    • Saveur said, on August 11, 2010 at 9:49 AM

      This one is way better.. but I prefer vinaigrettes to creamy dressings, so it is kind of like comparing apples to oranges. ;)

  2. Heidi said, on August 11, 2010 at 7:44 AM

    Looks absolutely delicious. Now I have to search out the ingredients in Ottawa. Wish me luck!

    • Saveur said, on August 11, 2010 at 9:48 AM

      Good luck! :)
      Did you want me to buy you some pomegranate molasses?

  3. Ricki said, on August 11, 2010 at 8:11 AM

    This looks great! I used to love bulgur but can’t eat it any more. I wonder how quinoa would taste in this? It does, indeed, look like it just might be the best salad ever! Thanks so much for joining in the challenge this month. :)

    • Saveur said, on August 11, 2010 at 9:48 AM

      On the blog that I found the recipe (Desert Candy), she said she preferred it with quinoa, so I still think it will taste great. :)

  4. Lindsey said, on August 11, 2010 at 4:31 PM

    How awesome + neat you found my recipe. I’m a big fan of your blog now.

    • Saveur said, on August 11, 2010 at 5:35 PM

      Thanks Lindsey. Your blog is gorgeous and I love your taste in recipes as well. :)

  5. Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal said, on August 11, 2010 at 4:55 PM

    That looks beautiful !!! What a great looking salad.

  6. PJ said, on August 12, 2010 at 2:37 AM

    Looks so tempting!!Thanks for sending it across to the event :)

  7. Nupur said, on August 12, 2010 at 8:11 PM

    Thanks for all your entries!

  8. Kevin (Closet Cooking) said, on August 14, 2010 at 12:35 PM

    I really enjoy whole grain salads and bulgar makes for some nice ones!

  9. DebinHawaii said, on August 15, 2010 at 8:04 PM

    I love bulgur and this looks like a fun change from other grain salads. It’s so colorful too! Thanks for sending it to Souper Sundays. ;-)

  10. Simona said, on August 19, 2010 at 2:14 AM

    Very good-looking! I am curious about coarse bulgur: I have read about it, but never tasted it. Thanks for participating.

  11. [...] a giveaway! My last memorable dish was this bulgur omg was it ever delicious! I am still thinking about [...]

  12. [...] It is hard to compete with perfection. [...]

  13. [...] This is my third dish in a string of salads with pomegranate molasses. No bulgur here, so my brain didn’t do the auto-compare with The Best Salad Ever. [...]

  14. SS said, on August 29, 2010 at 12:15 PM

    That does look like a very yummy salad. Never made anything with bulgar before. But your description does succeed in tempting me to get some! Cheers! :)

  15. Esra said, on August 31, 2010 at 9:55 PM

    Absolutely tempting!

  16. [...] came across this recipe while catching up on some of my favourite blogs a few weeks ago and bookmarked it because of its [...]

  17. [...] raspberries, pomegranate molasses, baked eggs, marinaded tempeh and let’s not forget the best salad ever. Bulgur has also been a summer obsession and when I was invited to bring a salad to a BBQ gathering [...]

  18. [...] Turkish Bulgur, Pomegranate and Almond Salad from Taste Space [...]

  19. [...] I also keep a list of my favourites for easy identification. I got a bit of flack for calling my Turkish bulgur salad with pomegranate and almonds the best salad ever, but truth be told, it was also called the best salad ever from the blog that I [...]

  20. [...] Bulgur, Pomegranate and Almond Salad. A variation on the traditional kisir, this bulgur salad is bursting with flavour from oven-roasted [...]

  21. Torviewtoronto said, on November 6, 2010 at 10:16 AM

    thank you for linking this delicious salad there i so many variety to it yummy

  22. [...] Taste Space: Turkish Bulgur Pomegranate and Almond Salad: [...]

  23. Jenn@slim-shoppin said, on November 8, 2010 at 3:12 PM

    That looks similar to an awesome salad they sell at Whole Foods that I love, but I’ve never been able to figure out how to make it.

    This is going on my TO-DO list! Thanks so much for the recipe

  24. Jayasri said, on November 14, 2010 at 6:26 PM

    Hi Janet,
    Thanks for all those lovely entries, You have made this dish more delicious with your lovely description I want to give it a try!, A very Healthy one too

  25. [...] a complete meal. I have talked about the nutritional superiority of bulgur compared to brown rice before, and it is incredibly easy to make as well (7 minutes to “cook” in boiling water).  [...]

  26. lazysmurf said, on December 15, 2010 at 3:13 PM

    This looks delicious! I will have to try it!

  27. [...] Turkish Bulgur, Pomegranate and Almond Salad [...]

  28. kate said, on January 9, 2011 at 10:07 PM

    oh my, oh my! that does sound like the best salad ever!

  29. [...] recipes making the blog rounds that most excellently utilize the bulgur grain. Inspired by Taste Space blog and Closet Cooking, I made this my own by omitting the cheese and adding some grilled chicken [...]

  30. [...] up various kinds of meats for guests, whereas I typical reign in the salad department. I have revisited some of my old favourites, and of course, tried out a few new ones that will be shared shortly, [...]

  31. [...] based this salad on my Turkish Bulgur Salad but added in steamed asparagus and served it overtop baby greens for a glorious feast.  It had all [...]

  32. [...] molasses can be tart, so taste as you go. Little did I realize how similar this dressing was to my Turkish Bulgur Salad, of former Best Salad Ever fame. With all the roasted veggies, it is kisir on steroids. Or maybe [...]

  33. [...] Salad with tomatoes, Onions and a Pomegranate Dressing from Bon Appetit (looks very similar to my Turkish Bulgur Pomegranate and Almond Salad) Middle Eastern Black-Eyed Pea Stew from Adaba Foods Baked BBQ Black-Eyed Peas from Vegan Soul [...]

  34. Ellen Lederman said, on January 3, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    Another gorgeous salad! I had quinoa and black beans that I wanted to use up, so subbed it for the chickpeas and bulgur….but I promise to adhere to the recipe next time. Also did not have pomegranate molasses, so had to use balsamic vinegar (I will make it to a Middle eastern store soon). Had some Penzey’s Turkish seasoning, so used that as well. Your salads are so pleasing to the eye and palate (as well to health!).

    • janet @ the taste space said, on January 3, 2012 at 10:24 PM

      Ellen, your variation on the salad sounds delicious. I adore a good balsamic vinaigrette so I am curious how it tasted with the quinoa salad… I should investigate this myself! Mmmm. :)

  35. [...] Turkish Bulgur, Pomegranate and Almond Salad Turkish Eggplant, Tomato and Lentil Stew with Pomegranate Muhammara (Syrian Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip) Iraqi Pomegranate Stew (Shorbat Rumman) White Bean and Barley Salad with a Tomato-Pomegranate-Tarragon Sauce Pomegranate-Lime Asparagus Quinoa Salad [...]

  36. [...] this bulgur salad is flavoured with cinnamon, dried apricots and pistachios. With a nod to my favourite bulgur salad, a drizzle of pomegranate molasses and pomegranate arils make this salad more interesting with [...]

  37. Shelby @ Everyday Vegan Girl said, on August 3, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    I’ve never tried or even saw pomegranate molasses, but I’m thinking I need to find some now!

    I don’t use bulgur quite enough, but this is a perfect dish for it!

    Thanks for linking up to HVF!

  38. Gabby @ the veggie nook said, on August 3, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    WOW you are such a seasoned blogger! You make me feel so young and naive ;)

    This looks delicious, so thanks for posting it to HVF- I feel like I’ve missed so much of your brilliance!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on August 6, 2012 at 3:03 AM

      Haha, thanks Gabby! This was from my pre-vegan days, to boot, so you can see why it wasn’t that difficult to make the leap to full-time vegan. :-)

  39. [...] for another great salad with pomerganate molasses? This one with bulgur and chickpeas (aka, The Old Best Salad Ever) was how I got hooked onto pomegranate [...]

  40. [...] but bulgur and cooked beans make this an even simpler dish. It has been a while since I’ve gushed over bulgur, but sometimes I forget until I unearth it again from my pantry.  Smokey from liquid [...]

  41. […] The Best Salad Ever (First Version): Turkish Bulgur, Pomegranate and Almond Salad […]


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