Bulgur, Celery and Pomegranate Salad

Bulgur, Celery and Pomegranate Salad Recipe


This lovely pomegranate-studded salad recipe is from Samuel and Samantha Clark's recent cookbook release - Moro East. The opening passage of the book starts off as follows:

We needed courage to find our allotment for the first time. The vast area east of Victoria Park has a dust bleakness, unusual for London. If bicycling there we have to keep away from the kerb to avoid broken glass and rusty metal. The smell of burnt cow hair from the meat processing plant adds to the atmosphere. The only clue that there is any gardening life in the area is the wild rocket pushing out of the cracks in the pavement. Beside the bus depot, out of sight of the road, is a barbed rusty gate, behind which things change dramatically.

You can't help but gasp when you open the gate and find yourself standing at the foot of a 70-metre bridge high over the river, looking across to a bank of wild plums, elderflower and blackberries. There is not a building in sight, just the odd proud shed. Here are the land and the community that have been so important to us over the past seven years.

And this is the scene where Moro East is set. For those of you not familiar with Sam and Sam Clark, they run the much-praised UK restaurant, Moro. A few years back the couple took on an East End swatch of land at the Manor Garden Allotments - this cookbook, their third, tells the story of their experience over the course of a year, through a wide range of inspired recipes.

Pomegranate Salad Recipe

According to the book the allotments were established in 1900 by Arthur Villiers. The 81 plots eventually flourished into a thriving multicultural community of not only Londoners but also families from Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Turkey, and the West Indies. A rich range of crops also evolved - many of which are featured in Moro East in recipes like Pumpkin Pisto, Jewelled Pumpkin Rice, Allotment Herb Salad, Syrian Fattoush, Tomato Soup with Cumin & Figs, Chard with Chickpeas & Tahini, Rhubard and Rosewater Fool, and Baked Beetroot with Horseradish & Almond Sauce.

Pomegranate Salad Recipe

Toby Glanville's photographs bring many of the garden's characters and details to life. I've included a small selection of images here to give you a sense of the place that provided the heartbeat for this volume. Clearly a very special place, and an important one to document. This is what makes it all the more heartbreaking to read the final passage of the book which concludes with these words,

All was lost in late 2007 when the site was bulldozed by the 2012 Olympic Committee. Despite a campaign by the Manor Gardens Allotment Society to have the allotments incorporated into the Olympic site, this fertile land will be concreted over and used, for the four weeks of the games, as a pathway between stadiums.

You can read more about what transpired here, and in this Guardian article as well.

Pomegranate Salad Recipe

After spending some time with Moro East, I chose this beautiful pomegranate salad recipe to feature - it's perfect for the holidays. After just a bit of prep you end up with a wonderfully textured, color-flecked salad - imagine the crunch of celery and walnuts, and the occasional pop of pomegranate seeds. The salted garlic undercurrent of the simple pomegranate dressing adds just the right balance to the tangy sweetness of the vibrant juice. Easy, delicious, and a pretty addition to any table.

Moro East is currently shipping through Amazon.co.uk.
Those of you here in the U.S who are interested might have to wait a couple weeks - Amazon is currently taking pre-orders for a 12/24 ship date of Moro East.

 
 
 
 

Bulgur, Celery and Pomegranate Salad

HS notes: I toasted the walnuts. Also, to get the seeds out of a pomegranate cut the fruit into wedges. Place the wedges in a large bowl of water and break the wedges apart to remove the seeds. The seeds will sink to the bottom and the bitter pith and skin will float to the top making it easy to remove. To juice the seeds I simply place small handfuls into a handheld citrus juicer and let the juice run into a separate bowl.

2/3 cup (100g) medium or coarse bulgur
1 pound (400g) celery (a small head), cut in thin slices on a slight bias
seeds of 1/2 large pomegranate
3/4 cup (75g) walnuts, roughly chopped
1 small bunch of flat-leaf parsley
1 scant tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped

Pomegranate Dressing:
juice of 1/2 large pomegranate
1/2 garlic clove, crushed to a paste with 1/2 teaspoon of salt
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

For the dressing, whisk all the ingredients together, season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.

Put the bulgur in a bowl, add (hs note: boiling hot) water to just below the surface of the wheat and leave it to stand for 10 minutes (hs note: 10 - 15 minutes), until just tender but still quite al dente. Add more water as required or drain in a colander if too wet.

Put all the ingredients in a bowl, pour over the dressing and check the seasoning. Serve immediately. Make sure the walnuts are dressed just before serving, as sometimes they can impart a bitter flavour and unpleasant colour to the dressing if left to sit.

Serves 4.

from Moro East by Samuel and Samantha Clark (Ebury Press, 2007) - reprinted with permission.

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Your Comments


The Queen
December 4, 2007

This looks so amazing to eat. I am going to make this tomorrow night for dinner. Did I tell you how much I appreciate you today? Totally in LURVE!

 

Joanna
December 4, 2007

Oh that looks so beautiful, with the pomegrante eye poppingly red with the colors. It's hard to keep things bright and fresh in the winter and this meets your high standards of beauty! I love the photos!

 

Babeth
December 5, 2007

(you may think I'm getting really old 'cause I repeat myself:) your picture is gorgeous! And what a refreshing recipe (one I will try for sure as soon as I found pomegrenade) and an intriguing cookbook.

 

sophie
December 5, 2007

Intriguing - I loved their first book, Moro, and I've heard really good things about this one. We had gorgeous tapas at the Moro restaurant in London a few weeks ago, along with an unexpectedly fabulous Moroccan red wine

Re the pomegranate, my favourite way to get the seeds and juice out is just to cut it in half and whack the back of each half with a wooden spoon so that the seeds fall out. A lot of juice comes out this way as you can give the shell a good squeeze.

 

It is red, green and brown .. wow! what a great colour combo and looks yummy and easy to make. I shall give it a try!

 

Y
December 5, 2007

The waterbowl method must be the best way to avoid staining clothes, hands and arms with pomegranate juice. Up till now, in my family, whoever wasn't wearing anything white got to break up the pomegranate... My husband usually takes off his shirt for the occasion!

About soaking time and temperature for the bulghur- I guess it depends which kind you have available, coarse or fine.

 

Denzylle
December 5, 2007

Not having read the Clarks' book (altho' I'm familiar with them and with Moro), I read the excerpts with interest as my friend had an allotment there and I used to help her work it in exchange for produce.

Yes, it's truly heartbreaking. Not only for the lost plots and fecund land, but for the cultural loss. With this part of London being so multicultural, it seemed like there were people from every corner of the world - Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean and Middle East, the Caribbean, many parts of Africa, South East Asia - all bringing their native (or, if not first generation, learned) knowledge of what they liked to eat and grow.

An immense loss to our community.

And London's Mayor and our government keep telling the people of East London that the Olympics 2012 is the best thing to happen to us. I don't think so.

 

sugarlaws
December 5, 2007

It looks wonderful -- but is there a substitute for the celery? (the texture is so weird, I've never liked it) Apple, maybe?

 

sciencegeek
December 5, 2007

If you're like me and have no citrus juicer that allows for pomegranate seeds: I've found that putting a pomegranate (or a half a pomegranate in this case) into a ziploc bag and then squishing it with my hands until it stops squeaking is a good way to juice it.

 

lauren
December 5, 2007

How did you get this book? I was in london and left the day before it was released ~ late October~ and have been checking Amazon daily and they wont ship until after NY and just nearly doubled the price.

Does the amazon UK site ship here to US?

Thanks for posing this recipe...

 

Kate Hill
December 5, 2007

I planted 2 pomegranate trees in my own French 'allotment' this month; will think of all those displaced gardeners when making this great winter salad. Thanks for sharing their story.

 

DeerDominique
December 5, 2007

That story almost made me cry, no sad stories before my coffee injection, new rule! The recipe looks yum, I may do it with quinoa though, just cuz.

 

deepali
December 5, 2007

pomegranate and walnuts have become the default in all my salads. bulghur sounds like a great addition, but i'm hesitant with the celery (never really liked it). any suggestions for substitutes? and i like the quinoa idea....

 

Amazoner
December 5, 2007

Amazon UK will ship stuff to the States. But not necessarily cheaply. Make sure it's worth the cost to you.

They will also email you with the same frequency that Amazon US does.

 

Mansi
December 5, 2007

The salad looks healthy and colorful...haven't tried bulgar before, but there's always a first time! I'm trying to eat healthy along with all the holiday baking that I'm doing:)

 

fishoutofwater
December 5, 2007

wow..this looks so great and cheery! im going to pick up the ingredients this weekend

 

Michelle
December 5, 2007

this could be the holiday dish I was searching for. thank you!

http://doesabodygood.blogspot.com

 

VeggieGirl
December 5, 2007

I can't even BEGIN to articulate how gorgeous these photographs are, Heidi - and that bulgar-salad recipe?? YUM!! I never thought of serving bulgar with pomegranate before - brilliant!

 

JEP
December 5, 2007

I have been wanting to try bulgur & this recipe is definitely my style of eating---thanks!

 

Denzylle
December 5, 2007

From the UK, I moderate a crime writer's group and many of our US and Canadian members swear by this supplier:

http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/WEBSITE/WWW/WEBPAGES/homepage.php

I don't know how quickly they might get UK cookbooks to you, and they are at UK prices (not cheap) BUT shipping is free worldwide.

 

Denyzlle
December 5, 2007

Sorry, Heidi - my third comment, but I don't intend to hijack your comments.

Just a warning to anyone who wants to buy UK books from the UK rather than waiting until the US edition comes out - you will get courgettes instead of zucchini, gms of butter instead of sticks, and gas mark 6 instead of whatever that is in degrees.

Personally, I've never had any problem translating US recipes - that's what the internet is for, isn;t it?.

However, that's the 'price' you pay for getting the books earlier.

 

Ashley
December 5, 2007

I've been living in London for a few months, I may just have to pop into that restaurant.

 

PJ
December 5, 2007

This recipe intriqued me. The story broke my heart. What a tragedy.

 

Wicked Good Dinner
December 5, 2007

Looking forward to trying this! It looks so light and yummy!

 

Cooking all day
December 6, 2007

I have pretty much cooked my way through their first book and loved every bite. Thanks for the post Heidi, it'll get me through until my copy of this release arrives.
-Jesper

 

YOYO Cooking
December 6, 2007

yummy!

beautiful color~

 

flo
December 6, 2007

Second time today I read about Moro East, and your review is so beautiful and tempting I'll have to get the book!! I hope I'll like this one as much as yours, which I love.

 

Sarah
December 6, 2007

I am wondering if you could substitute quinoa for the bulgur wheat. I have just begun my interest in grains & am not sure of results from changing graings.
It looks wonderful & I am looking forward to my copy of Moro East.

 

Ellen
December 6, 2007

Heidi, I just made brussels sprouts with your method & they were delicious. Thank you for posting!

 

Amy
December 6, 2007

I've never been a big pomegranate fan but this looks absolutely delicious!

 

sfm
December 6, 2007

This sounds delightful & I may actually give celery a try!

Normally, though I don't much care for it - so I substitute chopped fennel. It has a similar watery crunch, and the flavor is mild (just don't use the littlest bulbs - they tend to taste more strongly of anise). And fennel goes so well with walnuts.

 

Scarlet
December 7, 2007

Pomegranate is a flavour that reminds me of my childhood as we used to have a pogranate tree in the garden. I never though of combining it with bulgur. We usually cook bulgur with tomato here in Cyprus. Great idea. The book must be very good too. I will ask to get it as a Christmas present :-)

 

Sophie L
December 7, 2007

Thank you Heidi for providing me with the perfect salad recipe for my holiday buffet. I've been working my way through your recipes and have yet to find one I don't like. Had the farro with squash and walnuts last night, it was beautiful and delicious as always.

 

clumsy
December 7, 2007

Thank you for this wonderful cookbook lead. And I've heard of so many recipes pairing bulgur and pomegranate lately that I just HAVE to try it... I'll take after Sophie and serve at a holiday buffet! :)

 

pamanapa
December 7, 2007

Surely I have plenty of company; I began reading this post ready to board a plane for Heathrow to visit this community only to read its sad end.

At least the book's documentation will console us.

What a wonderful recipe in this most perfect year for pomegranates.

 

elizaduckie
December 7, 2007

Heidi: I have no gastronomic comments, only kudos.

I just discovered your fabulous and fascinating journal, recipes, books and suggestions. Oh! Aaah! Oooh!...is about all I can say right now.

And the photos! Whoosh! ...the combo of recipe, patter and photos is eye candy, mind candy and yummy tummy candy! I keep firing off links to friends and family.

THIS is the kind of food we like to eat...for that reason I miss San Fran terribly. Here I am in the wilds of FL, which I manage to escape from for as long as I can to "Whole Foods" and the vegetarian heaven of Boulder, CO.

Congratulations! After years of disinterest you have actually persuaded me to *cook* again. Instead of just throwing food together or buying it pre-made. Assuming, that is, that I can track down the ingredients - THANK YOU for listing links to sources for the more difficult.

I have just spent two days pouring through your site, checking links and making lists...thank you for such enjoyable time, so very well spent! Your newest book is on my list.

Happy Holidays everyone!

 

Debo Hobo
December 7, 2007

Excellent photo, especially that one perfect fork full right in focus. Yummy!

 

PantryMan
December 7, 2007

Looks like a great recipe! Can't wait to try it.

For cleaning pomegranates, we always just cut them in half (over the sink, to make sure the juices don't get on your work station), but then just turn the half over and hit with the BACK of your chef's knife. The seeds fall right out. You can do this over a bowl of water to make sure any pith that falls out floats away.

 

susannah
December 7, 2007

The bulgur salad looks delicious! I will have to add it to my repertoire of grain salads. A few night ago I made a favorite -- quinoa tabbouleh .

 

John J. Goddard
December 8, 2007

I adore bulgur wheat and grain salads, and this looks like a superb recipe, Heidi. Might I suggest the addition of a little cinnamon for a Sephardic accent? A touch of lemon zest might not be bad either.

The woman appears to be rolling soparnik in the photo above. It's a chard and garlic-filled pastry specifically from the Poljica region of Croatia on the Dalmatian coast, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was introduced from somewhere else (or, conversely, evangelized throughout the Mediterranean by Dalmatian sailors). If Croatian cuisine is heterogenous, Dalmatian cuisine is indeed guilty of a sort of meta-heterogeneity.

 

Jen
December 9, 2007

Well, like a dummy, I forgot to get the pomegranate at the store the night before. I thought all I needed was pomegranate juice, when it turned out I needed the juice AND the actual seeds. Because of my lack of preparedness (and only quickly skimming over the recipe before printing it), I had planned to make this just before I had a bunch of girlfriends coming over, and didn't realize that recipe called specifically for the seeds, until I had started to make it. SO, without a pomegranate, there definitely was something missing from the salad when it was complete. For the dressing, the POM (pomegranate juice) worked perfectly. When the salad was done and the dressing was added, I fidgeted around a bit with the flavor. I ended up adding fresh squeezed lime juice, and a little bit of extra salt. So, without the pomegranate seeds, and lime juice in it's place, it still turned out to be a delicious, tangy and hearty salad. And the girls still loved it. :0)

Thank you for these wonderful recipes!!

Jen