Friday, December 25, 2009


These salads were part of the same dinner as the pomegranate ice-cream and chocolate-pistachio cake that we recently had with friends of ours (for the whole menu, see the pomegranate ice-cream post). These recipes are from the 'mezze feast' in Feast by Nigella Lawson. We had these as starters along with Turkish bread and grilled halloumi dressed with lemon juice and black pepper. The 22 month old went nuts for the pomegranate arils, picking them out of his own salad to eat and then poaching everyone else's as well! The cucumber and pomegranate salad is really nice and fresh. The bulgar wheat salad was very popular with everyone; the dressing is delicious.

Cucumber and pomegranate salad
  • 4 spring onions
  • 1 heaped tbs finely chopped mint
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • Maldon salt
Finely slice the spring onions and place into a bowl with the chopped mint. Peel the cucumer and halve it lengthwise. Quarter each half lengthwise and slice off the seedy edge. Dice crosswise. Add the cucumber to the bowl. Halve the pomegranate and bash out the seeds into the bowl using a wooden spoon. Dress with the lime juice and a spinkle of salt, and toss everything together.

Herbed bulgar wheat and nut salad

If the dried barberries are unavailable, Nigella suggests using dried cherries, chopped a little and added to the salad at the end when you are combining everything. I substituted craisins (dried cranberries).

  • 150g bulgar wheat
  • 25g dried barberries
  • 750ml boiling water
  • 15ml pomegranate molasses
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 45ml olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp Maldon salt (or 1/4 tsp table salt)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 50g shelled pistachios
  • 50g natural (unblanched) almonds
  • 1.5 tbs chopped parsley
Put the bulgar wheat and barberries into a bowl and pour over the boiling water; cover with plastic wrap and leave for 20 minutes. Drain in a sieve, and squeeze out excess water. Put the pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, olive oil, allspice, cumin seeds, salt and cinnamon into a bowl and whisk together to make the dressing. Roughly chop the pistachios and almonds and add them to the drained bulgar wheat along with the dressing and chopped parsley. Fork everything through to combine. Tip into a serving bowl and sprinkle over some extra chopped parsley, if desired.

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