Recipes | Bulgur, herb, walnut and pomegranate salad


Bulgur, herb, walnut and pomegranate salad

Bulgur is a useful grain that you can apparently eat if you're diabetic as I discovered when I was staying with friends in France a while ago. It makes a great base for a simple salad that you can basically adapt to whatever you have in the storecupboard and fridge.

We ate it with barbecued lamb - it’s ideal as a BBQ side - but you could equally well serve it as a veggie or vegan main. Feel free to substitute whatever you’ve got handy. Some snipped dried apricots would be good if you don’t have a pomegranate, for instance.

Serves 4-6

3 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil

3-4 shallots or 2 larger banana shallots, peeled and sliced

125g bulgur wheat (I used a pack from the Waitrose Love Life range)

2-3 tomatoes, skinned, seeded and diced

1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced

2 sticks of celery, stringed and diced

2 tbsp salad dressing (I used a ready-made Maille vinaigrette with nut oil and red peppers that happened to be handy)

4-5 heaped tbsp chopped or torn herbs - I didn’t have any parsley so I used celery leaves, basil, mint and a bit of coriander,

75g walnut halves or pieces broken up into smaller pieces. Or substitute pine nuts

The seeds from half a pomegranate

1 tsp pomegranate molasses diluted with 1 tsp warm water

Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the sliced shallots for 4-5 minutes until they’re beginning to brown at the edges. Tip in the bulgar and twice the volume of boiling water. Stir and simmer over a moderate heat until all the liquid is absorbed. Turn the heat down a bit towards the end to stop it burnng. Tip the grain into a shallow dish and spread it out.

While the bulgur is cooling prepare your veg. Once the grains are cool, tip the tomatoes, cucumber and celery into the salad and toss with the salad dressing. Mix in most of the herbs, nuts and pomegranate seeds leaving a few to top the salad. Sprinkle over the remainder and drizzle over the diluted pomegranate molasses

What to drink

Because we ate this with lamb we drank a cinsault - the Mas des Chimères oeillade but you could equally well drink a rosé

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