Are we into salads big time yet or not?
Or are the pulses still winning?
|here is the bulgur and walnut salad with tahini|
I do love all these Turkish salads that use mercimek/lentils, nohut/chickpeas and other beans and grains with which this country is so blessed.
My mother, a great cook, was already ahead of the crowd in her usage of all these. I still have her copy of Rose Elliott's The Bean Book which came out in 1979! Wow, almost an heirloom! I remember my dad longsufferingly sitting through pulse-based meals during those early years-at heart, he was a true meat-and-two-veg kind of man!
This salad is somewhat similar to kısır or tabuli, the well-known middle eastern bulgur salads, but with a twist: it includes walnuts -always a good idea! - and tahini, that sesame-based creamy paste that we all know and love. This does make it a bit sticky but I think the additional depth of taste is worth it. This dish goes extremely well with grilled meats.
Bulgur and Walnut Salad/Cevizli Bulgur Salatası
from The Sultan's Kitchen by Özcan Ozan
1½ cups fine-grain bulgur (in Turkey we have 2 types of bulgur: fine-grain/köftelik, and large-grain/pilavlık: if you can't find the fine-grain variety, don't worry, nothing much will happen if you use the larger-grain sort)
1 cup walnuts/ceviz
½ cup tahini/tahin
2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and finely diced (1 cup)
1/3 cup finely chopped spring onions, some green parts included
½ cup finely chopped fresh (is there any other type?) Italian parsley
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh mint/nane
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil/fesleğen
½ tsp red pepper flakes/pul biber or ground red pepper
1/3 cup lemon juice
½ cup extra-virgin/sızma olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
pita bread or indeed any other inviting kind of bread
- Place the bulgur in a large bowl and add 1½ cups boiling water. Cover the bowl and let the bulgur stand for 20 minutes to absorb all the water.
- Meanwhile, using a mortar and pestle, pound the walnuts into a paste (or use a food processor). Mix this paste with the tahini and set aside.
- Stir the bulgur with a wooden spoon and fluff it with your fingertips. Add the tomatoes, spring onions, parsley, mint, basil, flaked red pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil.
- Season with salt and pepper and toss well.
- Add the walnut-tahini mixture and stir well. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- Serve at room temperature on a bed of lettuce leaves with lemon wedges and pita bread.
|bulgur and walnut salad/cevizli bulgur salatası|
|here is the grilled steak/bonfile I served the salad with: delicious!|