I have a weird relationship with pomegranate seeds. Everyone seems to either love them or hate them. Acid and crunchy, they’re not my favorite thing to eat on their own, but once you throw them into a salad it’s a whole different story. They suddenly come to life, their cranberry-like juices mixing so perfectly together with the rest of the ingredients. They’re still crunchy and acid, but combining them with the right ingredients brings out their sweetness and decreases their tartness. You’ll often find pomegranate seeds in Israeli salads, which combine an array of flavors to create some of the most mouthwatering salads I’ve ever had. Think about Ottolenghi’s recipes and his mix of ingredients, his combination of sweet and savory and use of nuts and other crunchy foods. You can never go wrong when serving a nice big salad for lunch, and this bulgur salad below has become my new favorite.
You’ll notice in the recipe below that I don’t explain the steps to remove the seeds from a pomegranate…and that’s because, I didn’t. I never do. I just recently discovered that they sell pomegranate seeds in a small package at my local supermarket, making them the perfect ingredients to easily add to salads. I bought some a week ago and haven’t stopped adding them to salads; it’s just so easy once they’re freed from the fruit! If you can’t find pomegranate seeds in a supermarket near you, click here to watch this short video explaining how to remove them.
This salad is the result of what I had left in my fridge before my weekly Saturday supermarket shopping. I mixed fine bulgur with celery, fennel, parsley, mint, arugula, green onion, pistachios, lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper, and ended up with a salad that is so filling, dreamy, zesty, and everything I’d want to eat every day for lunch. The fennel, celery, pomegranate seeds and pistachios bring so much crunch to the salad and liven up bulgur which could otherwise taste quite bland, while the arugula, parsley, mint and lemon bring so much more aroma while increasing all the flavors. I served this salad one night with grilled halloumi cheese on the side, but I see it perfectly well with some crumbled feta on top, or even as is.
For more salad inspiration, click here
- 1 cup fine bulgur
- 2 celery stalks, chopped into a small dice
- 1 fennel, chopped into a small dice
- ½ cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
- 1 cup arugula
- 2 green onions, white part diced
- 6 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
- 4 tablespoons unshelled and unsalted pistachios, chopped
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Place the bulgur in a sieve above a bowl and let the bulgur soak in cold water for 15 minutes. Squeeze out all the water and put bulgur in a big mixing bowl.
- Add the celery, fennel, parsley, mint, arugula, green onion, pomegranate seeds and pistachios and mix to combine.
- In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper. Pour dressing over bulgur salad and mix.