Thursday, October 29, 2015

23. Mediterranean Lamb Tacos with Bulgur, Tomato, and Olive Salad


This taco was my first celebration of free weeknight evenings!  Our college production of Footloose was a success, and I am glad to have a break - though I do miss the wonderful people I worked with!  :)

Monday night tacos . . . what a concept!  Since my last couple of tacos have been vegetarian, I decided I would make another carnivore recipe - especially since my husband was such a good sport about the sweet potatoes in the last ones!  Ha ha.

We like lamb quite a bit, and I realized that my last lamb taco was number seven!  I'm trying to vary the main ingredient of the filling as I go along.  I think it's alright to use lamb again at this point.  These have a different flavor than the last ones, too.

While putting this recipe together, I thought of a great combination that I made for a family get-together a year or two ago.  It was a lamb meatball recipe that used bulgur (cracked wheat) as the binding ingredient instead of bread crumbs.  I made a bulgur salad on the side that complemented the meatballs perfectly.  It had the deliciously tangy, fruity addition of pomegranate molasses.

Pomegranate molasses might be something you have to seek out.  A specialty grocery store might have it, or you could just get it on Amazon.  The recipe would still be delicious without it, but the flavor is so unique!  There really is no substitute!

I called these Mediterranean tacos.  Well . . . I had to call them something.  I think it works.  Feta, olives, tomato, lamb, bulgur wheat, pomegranate molasses . . . what's not Mediterranean about those things?

Here's the recipe - they were flavorful and delicious!  :)

Mediterranean Lamb Tacos with Bulgur, Tomato, and Olive Salad

Serves 3-4 (makes about 8 generous tacos)


For the salad:

1/4 cup bulgur (I used Bob's Mill red bulgur)
1/2 cup water
3 roma tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup chopped kalamata olives
1/3 cup chopped red onion
2 tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 tbsp. pomegranate molasses
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

For the lamb filling:

1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup onion (any kind), finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. paprika
1 lb. ground lamb
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

A few large leaves of green leaf lettuce, thinly sliced

A few ounces of crumbled feta cheese

8 to 16 corn tortillas (depending on whether you plan to double them up)


1. Make the salad:  Place the water and bulgur (along with a pinch of salt) in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 12 minutes.  Remove from the heat and fluff with a fork.  (If there is any excess liquid, drain it out.)  Spread out onto a plate to cool.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, olives, onions, parsley, and cilantro.  Toss in the cooled bulgur.  Drizzle on the oil, vinegar, and pomegranate molasses.  Add the salt and pepper and stir to mix thoroughly.  Set aside.

3.  Make the lamb filling:  Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook until soft and slightly browned, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Add the garlic, cumin, and paprika and stir, cooking for an additional minute or so until fragrant.  Add the lamb, salt, and pepper, and stir, breaking apart with a spatula until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes.

4.  While the lamb is cooking, prepare the tortillas to your liking.  There are a few different ways you can do this.  When I am making tacos with soft corn tortillas, I heat a dry cast iron skillet over medium high heat.  I place a large sheet of aluminum foil near the pan.  I heat each tortilla in the skillet for about 30 to 60 seconds or so on each side, or until it softens and begins to brown.

After each one is done, I place it on the foil and immediately start the next one.  I stack them on top of one another as I work.  When I'm done with the whole batch, I wrap them completely in the foil and place them in a 250 degree oven until I'm ready to assemble the tacos.  They always stay hot and soft!  (Since this is pretty much the last step, you may not need to keep them warm, though!)

5.  When all of the components are ready, assemble the tacos.  For each taco, place one or two tortillas on a plate.  If the tortillas are thin, as mine were, you should double them up.  Top with a small amount of the lamb filling.  Follow with some of the shredded lettuce.  Spoon on some of the salad.  Finish with some crumbled feta cheese.  Enjoy!  :)

These were great!  We would both recommend them.  I loved the unique flavor that the pomegranate molasses added to the salad!  The bulgur in the salad contributed a great nutty, chewy quality that was unexpected in a taco.  We dug it.

Another nice thing about this recipe is that it was not too involved to put together on a weeknight.  Don't get me wrong - it wasn't exactly Kraft macaroni and cheese, but it was doable in a short amount of time!  I LOVE to mess up my kitchen, but sometimes it's just not practical.  Ha ha.

Well, it's now THURSDAY!  It took me three days to get this post together.  The good news it that it's actually my Friday, so now I have all weekend to make more tacos!  Awesome.  I'm going to shoot for a dinner taco tomorrow and a brunch taco on Sunday.  Then I can post number 26 on Monday (which is the three-month mark of my project) and I'll be perfectly on track to finish!

Feel free to comment on this recipe!  Did you try it?  What did you think?  Do you have any other great uses for pomegranate molasses?  I'm all ears!  :)

Thanks for reading!

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