the taste space

Pomegranate Tabbouleh Salad

Posted in Mains (Vegetarian), Salads by janet @ the taste space on August 26, 2010

It is hard to compete with perfection.

I made a delightful bulgur salad with pomegranate, almonds, oven charred tomatoes and chickpeas earlier this month and was looking to expand my horizons with a new twist on the bulgur and pomegranate flavours. When I spotted a pomegranate tabbouleh salad at Closet Cooking, I knew what I wanted to try next. It seemed perfect for the summer with fresh crisp cucumber, fresh local tomatoes, soft feta and keeping my salad staples like toasted almonds. The pomegranate flavour came from the vinaigrette with pomegranate molasses and pomegranate seeds.

And while it seemed like a reasonable salad, it just didn’t compare. I was left thinking, This is ok, but not the best salad everThe best salad ever will forever torment me as its counterparts will fall short. My memory will probably hype up the salad even further in its absence – oh my!

But instead of commiserating for all of the rest of the salads, why not rejoice in figuring out what made for such a terrific salad?  And this is what I have been thinking about…

As a main course salad, I like a lot of substance within the salad. More stuff than bulgur or leaves. Both salads had that, but the winning salad also had more sustenance with chickpeas. Both vinaigrettes had pomegranate molasses, but the winning salad had a more pronounced tartness from the pomegranate molasses since I mistakenly read the recipe without diluting the molasses. So perhaps the mind-blowing pomegranate flavour was missing. The winning salad also had Aleppo chili flakes which brings anything from ordinary to extraordinary, and this tabbouleh had none. Not that I think tabbouleh warrants chili flakes, but the mantra of balancing sweet, sour, spicy and bitter is making more and more sense. It has been a winning combo for my recent dishes, including the winning salad.

To be fair to the tabbouleh, it was enjoyed by others. But they had not yet tasted the winning salad ever. ;) For me, there were too many similarities between the salads for me not to do the comparison and feel like it came out short. Perhaps I will have to modify the tabbouleh with these changes in mind when I score another deal on pomegranates.

This is my submission to Ricki and Kim’s vegan SOS challenge featuring mint, to PJ for this month’s Healing Foods featuring tomatoes, to Jayasri for this month’s Cooking with Seeds featuring pomegranate seeds and to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays.

Pomegranate Tabbouleh Salad

1 cup water
1/2 cup bulgur
1/4 cup mint, finely chopped
1/4 cup green onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup tomato, chopped
1/2 cup cucumber, chopped
1/4 cup almonds, slivered and toasted
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup feta (omit if vegan)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced

1. Bring the water to a boil and turn off the heat.

2. Mix in the bulgur, cover and let sit for 20 minutes.

3. Toss the bulgur with the mint, green onion, tomato, cucumber, almonds, pomegranate seeds and feta.

4. Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, mustard and garlic. Toss with salad just before serving.

Serves 4.

12 Responses

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  1. Joanne said, on August 26, 2010 at 6:53 AM

    When you make something that’s out of the park good, it’s usually nearly impossible to make something similar and then still like it. I love that you tried to piece apart what makes your crazy good salad so good…this way you can recreate it in other salads! I think balance of flavor and textures is key.

  2. satya said, on August 26, 2010 at 11:35 AM

    this salad looks very healthy n refreshing …thanks for sharing sucha gorgeous salad ..yummy

  3. Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal said, on August 26, 2010 at 1:33 PM

    Wow, that salad looks simply delicious and beautiful too :)

  4. Priya said, on August 26, 2010 at 3:16 PM

    Woww wat a healthy, catchy and colourful salad, looks very tempting..

  5. Leslie said, on August 26, 2010 at 5:54 PM

    This looks delicious, and perfect for summer!

  6. Ricki said, on August 27, 2010 at 3:39 PM

    You are definitely on a roll, and this looks lovely! Sorry it didn’t live up to the best salad of all time–but glad it was still good! ;) And thanks for another wonderful submission to the SOS Challenge! :)

  7. […] like the Pomegranate Tabbouleh Salad, this one was adapted from Closet Cooking when Kevin went on his pomegranate […]

  8. DebinHawaii said, on August 29, 2010 at 8:16 PM

    It still looks pretty amazing! Thanks for sending it to Souper Sundays. ;-)

  9. […] a couple of lackluster dishes the week before, I was a bit uneasy about trying a new […]

  10. Jayasri said, on November 14, 2010 at 6:44 PM

    It still looks delicious, with so many Ingredients, a very healthy one too…, thanks for sending.

  11. alicia said, on January 8, 2012 at 10:24 AM

    I just made this salad as a main course for 2… and it was truly delicious! Filling, healthy, super tasty… The only change we made was adding a few pepper flakes to give it a little kick and counter the sweetness of the pomegranate (of which we added more than the recommended amount -oops!). I’m definitely making this dish again – next time I might add a little more lemon but otherwise will stick to the recipe above as it is fantastic!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on January 8, 2012 at 10:34 AM

      Hey Alicia, Thanks for letting me know how it turned out. So glad you liked it! Your modifications sound great – I should try that next time. :)

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