Kisir, the red 'tabouleh' from Turkey is a delicious salad comprising burghul, red-pepper paste, tomato paste, sweet-sour pomegranate molasses and masses of fresh aromatic herbs.
- 1 pomegranate
- 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) fine-grain burghul (bulgur wheat)
- 1 bunch dill
- ½ bunch mint
- 1 bunch parsley
- 4–6 spring onions (scallions)
- 300 g (10½ oz) sweet cherry tomatoes
- 4 Lebanese (short) cucumbers
- 3 tbsp best-quality tomato paste (concentrated purée)
- 120 g (4½ oz/½ cup) red-pepper paste (biber salçasi)
- salt, to taste
- drizzle of olive oil, to taste
- squeeze of lemon juice, to taste
- pomegranate molasses, to taste
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
- Slice the top off the pomegranate and stick both thumbs into it to break it open. Separate the pomegranate seeds from the bitter white pith (you can do this by banging hard on the skin with a wooden spoon until the seeds fall out). Sprinkle the (uncooked) burghul with a little cold water and set aside. Finely chop all of the herbs, and the spring onions; chop the cherry tomatoes and cucumbers too. Add the tomato paste and red-pepper paste to the burghul and mix it together using your hands.
- Add the herbs, spring onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and pomegranate seeds to the burghul and mix well to combine. Season to taste with salt, olive oil, lemon juice and a generous quantity of pomegranate molasses.
Recipe and images from Under the Mediterranean Sun by Nadia Zerouali and Merijn Tol, Smith Street Books, RRP $55.00.