I did this one just for ZAP and I liked it so much it may well end up in my next book on Modern Mediterranean Jewish cooking that I am writing now.” Chef Joyce Goldstein

Bazergan is a Syrian Jewish version of tabbouleh. Its name means “of the bazaar.” Some versions add chopped hazelnuts or pine nuts to the mix. This salad dressing is often enhanced with tamarind paste, but pomegranate syrup works well too. Both have a tart and sweet quality that, along with the lemon juice, accent the spices. Let the completed salad marinate for 4 to 5 hours or as long as overnight for the flavors to develop. At serving time adjust seasoning, salt and tartness, adding more lemon juice if needed.

Grain Salad
Serves 6 to 8
2 cups bulgur wheat or wheat berries
3 teaspoons toasted ground cumin
2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne or to taste
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup Pomegranate dressing made from concentrate
1-2 cups pitted halved fresh cherries
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, optional
4 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
Pomegranate seeds, optional
If using wheat berries soak overnight. Then cook in lightly salted water.

Put the bulgur wheat in a bowl and cover with hot lightly salted water. Let soak for about a half hour, until grains are tender. Drain well. Transfer to a bowl.

Whisk together the spices, tomato paste and lemon juice. Then whisk this mixture into the pomegranate dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning. You may want more lemon or a bit more oil. Toss with the drained grains. Fold in the cherries, nuts and parsley and mix well. If you have pomegranate seeds you might want to add a few for color. Serve at room temperature.

Variation: You may add 3/4 cup finely chopped red onion to this salad.

Pomegranate Dressing from Concentrate

Yield: about 1 cup dressing
6 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ cup mild olive oil or a bit more

Pomegranate and Nut Dressing

Yield: half cup plus 2 tablespoons
4 tablespoons pomegranate molasses or ½ cup reduced juice
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons walnut oil or hazelnut oil
2 tablespoons olive oil or mild oil like canola

Joyce Goldstein
A consultant to the restaurant and food industries, Joyce’s areas of expertise are recipe development, menu design, and staff training. She improves existing recipes, adds new ones to complement the menu and works with culinary staff to refine flavors and execution.

Joyce is a prolific cookbook author. Many of her books have won industry awards. See the Food for Thought Blog for more info about current books, recipes, and events she also writes for many magazines such as Fine Cooking, Cooking Light, Wine & Spirits, and Food & Wine, Vegetarian Times, and the Sommelier Journal. She currently contributes wine and food pairing columns for the San Francisco Chronicle.


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