Spicy Bulgur and Nut Salad

Featured in our Spring 2022 issue’s Some of This Season’s Most Delicious Reads by Now Serving’s Ken Concepcion

This is a Syrian dish, and my family called it bazargan because all the ingredients could be bought at the spice bazaar in Aleppo. It is substantial and filling and also amazingly rich and tasty, with a variety of nuts, spices, and aromatics. It is easy to make for a lot of people, can be prepared in advance, and keeps perfectly well for days. There is also no cooking because bulgur is wheat that has been boiled, dried, and then “cracked” – it only needs soaking in boiling water, while all the aromatic ingredients are beaten together as a dressing.

Serve as a first course with Greek yogurt or labneh. It can be served in a large bowl or elegantly rolled into balls the size of a walnut and cupped in Little Gem lettuce leaves.

Spicy Bulgur and Nut Salad

Serves 6


  • 1½ cups / 250g bulgur
  • 1⅔ cups / 395ml lightly salted boiling water
  • 7 tbsp / 100ml mild extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1½ tbsp pomegranate molasses salt
  • juice of 2½ lemons
  • ¼ cup / 65g tomato paste
  • 1 to 1½ tbsp harissa or other hot pepper paste, to taste
  • 1½ tsp ground cumin 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • 1 cup / 100g walnuts, lightly toasted
  • ¾ cup / 100g hazelnuts, lightly toasted 5 tbsp /
  • 50g pistachios, lightly toasted 7 tbsp / 50g pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 1 large bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves chopped
  • pomegranate seeds for garnish (optional)


  1. Step 1

    Put the bulgur in a large bowl and pour the boiling water over it. Let soak for 30 minutes, until the grains are very tender. Stir occasionally so that the water is absorbed evenly.

    Step 2

    Combine the olive oil with the pomegranate molasses and season with salt. Add the lemon juice, tomato paste, harissa, cumin, coriander, and allspice and beat vigorously with a fork until well blended. Pour over the bulgur and mix very well. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

    Step 3

    Coarsely chop the walnuts, hazelnuts, and pistachios. Add them to the bulgur, stir in the pine nuts and parsley; mix well. If you like, garnish with pomegranate seeds before serving.

Reprinted with permission from Claudia Roden’s Mediterranean: Treasured Recipes from a Lifetime of Travel by Claudia Roden, copyright © 2021. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.


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