Turkish Bulgur, Pomegranate and Almond Salad
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.
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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.