everyone loves potlucks. what's not to love? you bring one dish and you always leave full. you just have to try every dish, well most of them. when someone says potluck, i already start going through the rolladex of recipes in my head, trying to think of something everyone would like. but usually the week of the dinner, i decide to try a new recipe. i scan through dog-eared pages in my cookbooks and magazines, and search feverishly through my bookmarks. i'm indecisive, so i narrow it down to a few options before commiting to the final one. you never know when whole foods might not have pomegranates or cilantro.
last weekend i had a potluck at a friend's house and this week i had a potluck at work. i decided to make the same dish since everyone enjoyed it and it was something simple, delicious and healthy. i found the recipe on 101 cookbooks: Bulgur, Celery & Pomegranate salad. the pomegranate and celery created a festive holiday dish. most of the feedback i received was 'wow that's really fresh'. i think it provides a nice contrast to the heavy, creamy dishes served around the holidays.
Bulgur, Celery & Pomegranate salad *sunflower oil works as a nice substitue for olive oil in the dressing.
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
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.
adapted from Moro East by Samuel and Samantha Clark (Ebury Press, 2007) - reprinted with permission.