Pomegranate Salad and
Eggs in the morning, or at any time of the day for that matter, are irresistible to me. Whether they’re scrambled, poached, fried or soft-boiled I’m really not that fussy. I try not to indulge on a daily basis, early morning starts attribute for the most part to such an ability for self-restraint. Just the thought of the textures and flavours that are possible with such an ever-present member of the kitchen cupboard, it’s no wonder that breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. As for what you can partner them with, let’s just say eggs are probably the most flirtatious food you’ll find in the pantry. This morning I decided to delve into my fridge and use what was left of my Claudia Roden-inspired Bulgur salad. This dish is great on a weekend morning and will be ready in next to no time if you prepared the salad the night before (for a light dinner option). Oh! Don’t worry if you’re like me and are someone who gets bored of repeating food two days on the trot, the soft-poached egg easily does enough to justify another round of this beautiful middle-eastern workhorse.
What you’ll need
350g bulgur wheat (course/medium)
60ml extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon (keep another lemon on standby)
3 tablespoons of pomegranate molasses
5 tablespoons of tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon of allspice
2 teaspoons of ground cumin
2 teaspoons of ground coriander
100g of walnuts (chopped)
15g of pine nuts
a large bunch of flat-leaf parsley (finely-chopped)
4 large free-range eggs
white wine vinegar
1. Start by very lightly rinsing the bulgur wheat under cold water and then soak 2 parts lightly salted cold water to 1 part bulgur wheat. Depending on the coarseness of the bulgur it takes from 35 minutes to 1 hour to become tender. (boiling water would speed up this process but take care not to let it become mushy). Drain the wheat in a sieve and squeeze all the excess water out.
2. Using a large mixing bowl whisk the olive oil and molasses together with the lemon juice and tomato paste. Meanwhile, lightly toast the cumin and coriander in a pan if you have the whole seeds (I always grind these spices from fresh and toasting them just enhances the flavour and aroma). After grinding the seeds to a fine powder add and mix with the rest of the dressing.
3. Add salt and pepper to taste to the dressing mixture and molasses and lemon as needed. You are looking to have a balance between the acidity and sweetness of the ingredients. A pleasantly zesty flavour.
4. Add half of the dressing to the bulgur wheat and set aside for 5-10 minutes to absorb the flavours. In the meantime put a pan of water to boil with 2 or 3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar added. Lightly toast the pine nuts and chopped walnuts together until a slightly golden colour. Finely chop the parsley and add all the ingredients including the remaining dressing to the bulgur.
5. Once the water comes to the boil reduce the heat a little and immediately add the eggs, the water should still continue with a vigorous enough simmer to turn the eggs white within a few seconds, carefully test the eggs by spooning them out of the water and pushing your finger against the center. The egg should have a springy consistency to maintain a soft yolk, usually 2-3 minutes is enough time on a rolling boil.