This gorgeous pomegranate tabbouleh salad is comprised of only three plant-based ingredients. Not only is it a feast for the eyes, but the sweet, tart and lemony flavor will leave you wanting more and more. Read on to discover my three color healthy eating rule!
so many colorful plates
My favorite thing about my mother in law’s cooking is her huge array of salads. You can find 5 or 6 different salads in her fridge at any given time. She roasts peppers in the oven, the smell floats throughout the house beckoning everyone into the kitchen. Next, she peels the peppers, slices them and bathes them in vinegar. I love adding the colorful peppers to my sandwiches. She almost always has a cooked beet salad, their earthy flavor gently enhanced with a simple olive oil, lemon, and salt dressing. The beets are sliced thin and their magenta color is mesmerizing. I especially love when she grills whole eggplants on the barbecue, scoops out the insides and mixes them with tahini, lemon, garlic and olive oil. Another favorite of mine is her cooked leek and artichoke heart salad with fresh tomatoes and olive oil that create a rich flavor combination.
the three color rule
Imagine a meal accompanied by many little plates, such a colorful array of salads. I find it makes my eyes fill with joy even before my mouth begins tasting the food. Perhaps it’s related to a rule that my mother made while we were growing up. She decided that each meal needed at least three different colors. A meal with potatoes, chicken and corn wouldn’t make the cut. Chicken, corn, beets, and spinach would. A bowl of oatmeal with milk wasn’t good enough but add some raspberries and pecans and it was perfect. It’s pretty amazing how following this simple “game” helped our family eat so much healthier. I’ve adopted the color rule and use it in my own kitchen today. It keeps me on the lookout for beautiful fruits and vegetables to add to my table.
Pomegranate tabbouleh salad
One of my mother in law’s newest salads is this pomegranate tabbouleh salad with parsley. This salad contains three colors all by itself. It is gorgeous, partly because of her crazy perfectionism. She’ll never let a parsley stem or a non-perfect pomegranate seed tarnish her dish, but will sit for an hour plucking each tiny leaf off of its stem and popping each seed into the bowl. Tabbouleh is traditionally made with tomatoes, parsley, onion, and bulgur wheat. The Cookie and Kate Vegetarian food blog has a nice traditional tabbouleh salad recipe. This variation is crunchier and festive. In addition, the pomegranate adds a special tart and sweet mix of flavors.
I recently discovered bulgur wheat. I hadn’t realized that it is considered a whole grain and is much healthier for you then its similar tasting couscous. Another great surprise that I learned about bulgur is that it is already partially cooked and can be ready within 10 minutes. Any whole grain that I can add to my dinner table in the time it takes me to make a green salad is a keeper in my book. Bulgur is larger than couscous and has a slightly nutty flavor.
The salad comes together with a simple lemon and olive oil dressing. My mother-in law likes to add a couple of drops of sesame oil as well. It adds one more unique flavor to the mix, similar to what we did in our Parsley Salad recipe.
Pomegranate Tabbouleh Salad
- 1 cup bulgur fine
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup parsley leaves packed full
- 2 cups cooked bulgur
- 2 cups pomegranate seeds
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a small pot that has a tight-fitting lid.
- Stir in bulgur, olive oil, and salt and bring to boil again.
- Cover pot and reduce heat to medium-low.
- Let cook for about 12 minutes or until all of the water is gone.
- Turn off the fire, remove the lid, and place a towel over the pot. Now place the lid on top of the towel. Let sit, covered, for 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork. The towel collects the steam and creates fluffy and crunchy grains.
- Mix olive oil, sesame oil, lemon, salt, and pepper thoroughly.
- Remove the parsley leaves from their stems. Wash, chop, and place in a big bowl.
- Add the 2 cups of cooked bulgur and 2 cups of pomegranate seeds.
- Add dressing and mix.