Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. Give him ramen noodles, and you don’t have to teach him anything.
- Lawrence Downes
This recipe, from Claudia Roden, was sent to me by my friends Marcia and Paul. It's similar to tabbouleh, but more complex. Bulgur is one underrated grain, in my book - it's so easy to work with, tastes great, and goes with lots of different flavors. Oh, and it's healthy, of course.
Time: 20 minutes, plus soaking
2¾ cups bulgur, preferably coarse-ground
¾ cup olive oil
6 tablespoons pomegranate molasses, available at Middle Eastern markets
Juice of 2 lemons, or to taste
6 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon cayenne, or more to taste
2 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped
¼ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, about 1 cup.
1. Put bulgur in a large bowl and cover with cold, lightly salted water. Let soak until tender, from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on coarseness of bulgur. Drain in a sieve, firmly pressing out excess water, and transfer to a serving bowl.
2. Whisk olive oil with pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, tomato paste and spices. Add salt and pepper and taste; mixture should be pleasingly tangy. Add more pomegranate molasses and lemon juice as needed.
3. Pour half the dressing over bulgur and mix well. Set aside to absorb for about 10 minutes. Taste for salt, adding more if needed. Add half the remaining dressing, all the nuts and parsley, and mix well. Before serving, taste again and add more dressing as needed.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings.