08 August 2008

The wonders of bulghur


My bulghur salad experiment from Monday night was...drumroll...a success. I'd not worked with the grain before, but found it very easy and will certainly try other recipes (especially since I have a big bag of it in my freezer). The salad was perfect for summer - light yet substantive with a lemony-onion flavor and good crunch from the zucchini and sweetness from the corn and tomatoes.

I am, however, glad that it is now gone. It made A LOT. I took it for lunch multiple times this week including a big container to share on the intern field trip. I even gave away a portion to my intern Carrie (since she claimed to have liked it). This is the problem with cooking for one - you always have leftovers and often more than you'd like.

But, I would encourage you to try the salad. It should be served room temperature, so perfect for taking to a Labor Day cookout or some other get-together.

Bulghur Salad with Corn, Zucchini, and Shredded Basil
1 1/2 cups coarse-grain bulghur
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed (I used fresh cut off the cob, raw)
1 tomato, cut into small cubes (I used local heirloom from my CSA)
1 cup very thinly sliced zucchini rounds, cut into sixths (I used more zucchini since I had it; must admit wasn't careful about the thinness or the rounds)
3 tablespoons finely shredded fresh basil
1/4 cup thinly slivered red onion
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Place the bulghur in a large bowl (and they mean it - the bulghur triples in size!). Pour boiling water over it to cover by 2 inches. Let soak 30 minutes or until tender. Remove all the soaking liquid by placing the bulghur, in batches, in cheesecloth or cotton towel and squeezing it dry. Or place in a strainer and press out the liquid with the back of a large spoon (this is what I did). Place the strained bulghur in a large serving bowl.


2. Stir in the corn, tomato, zucchini, basil, and onion. In a separate bowl, beat together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. Pour it over the salad and mix well. Let sit 30 minutes, or cover and chill up to 24 hours, then bring to room temperature before serving. Place lettuce leaves on individual plates and spoon the salad on top (I didn't do this, but guess a good idea for a more organized dinner).


Serves 4 as a main course. Source: Quick Vegetarian Pleasures.