Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Bulghur Grape Salad

Another salad from a cookbook that's becoming one of my favourites, Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special. The recipe for bulghur grape salad caught my eye a few times but bulghur is not something I just happen to have around the house so I couldn't make it without a trip to Galloways. I've never had bulghur before and I wasn't sure if I'd like it or not, but I want to try out all the different kinds of grains (amaranth, quinoa, millet, barley, etc) and incorporate them more into my diet. Some I'm more familiar with like barley and somewhat quinoa, but I've yet to make anything with millet and amaranth (though they're both waiting patiently in my cupboard!)

I was surprised at how delicious this salad was. I've never had a salad like this before, not only with bulghur but also combining grapes with other veggies. And oh those grapes were so good and crisp. I wish all grapes were crisp like that. I loved the surprising crunch and sweetness that they added to the salad - it definitely wouldn't have been the same without them. I thought the dressing smelled a bit strong at first with the cumin and coriander. Once I mixed everything together and served it with greens, I discovered that the dressing was mild and perfectly accentuated the ingredients in the salad. One reason, among many, to love this salad is how healthy it is: a mixture of fresh veggies, omega-3 filled walnuts, and too many health benefits to list whole grain bulghur.

Bulghur Grape Salad
Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special

2 cups raw bulghur
2 1/2 cups boiling water
1 cucumber
1 red bell pepper
1 cup minced red onions
2 cups (8 ounces) walnut halves
2 cups (12 ounces) rinsed and stemmed seedless red grapes

3 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

mixed greens

Place the bulghur in a heatproof bowl, pour the boiling water over it, cover and set aside to soak for 15 to 20 minutes.

While the bulghur soaks, cut the cucumber lengthwise into halves, then again in half lengthwise. Slice all 4 long strips crosswise into thin bite-sized pieces.* Stem, seed, and chop the bell pepper. Place the cucumbers, peppers, and minced red onions into a serving bowl and set aside.

Toast the walnuts in a single layer on an unoiled baking tray in a toaster oven at 350F for about 5 minutes, until fragrant. Let them cool slightly and coarsely chop. Cut each grape into halves. Add the walnuts and grapes to the serving bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together lal of the dressing ingredients.

When the bulghur has softened, fluff it with a for and refrigerate it, uncovered, until cooled to at least room temperature. Add the cooled bulghur to the serving bowl, pour on the dressing, and toss well.

Serve with mixed greens, sharp-tasting sprouts or whatever you like.

*The recipe suggests you peel and seed the cucumber, but why waste a good cucumber?! Unless the skin is really tough.


Deborah said...

I've never had bulghur before, either. I do love grapes in salads, though! This sounds and looks quite tasty!

Anh said...

This is new to me... Adding grape to salad. Must try!

Conrad said...

Bulghur is lovely stuff - I much prefer it to Quinoa, and look forward to trying this salad.

I can't help but feel that some fried goats cheese on top would go very nicely indeed.

VeggieGirl said...

I absolutely LOVE bulghur salads, but I have never made it before with grapes - this looks fabulous!!

Cassie Young said...

I love bulgur salads, too, and this one looks like a winner!

Valli said...

I make tabbouleh so love bulgur wheat! The addition of the grapes does sound like something I would love to try with this combination of spices. I will have to add the Moosewood Cookbooks to my collection!

eatme_delicious said...

deborah: Thanks. :)

anh: I will definitely be adding grapes to many future salads!

conrad: Mmm fried goat cheese on top sounds delicious!

veggiegirl: Thanks. :)

cassie: Thanks. :)

valli: Oh I really want to try making (and eating) tabbouleh! I thought it was made with couscous though.

Anonymous said...

Just a thought,going thru your blog..Eventhough u seem to be a well versed veggie, u seem the typical occidental vegetarian person since frankly veggies are not the main stay of occidental food..I would suggest you to try your hand at a lot of asian recipes....Indian...where vegetarians are mainstay....(I am indian)

eatme_delicious said...

anonymous: I've tried some Indian recipes but not a lot. If you can recommend any or a cookbook that would be awesome because I'd love to find some good Indian recipes! :)

Anonymous said...

Try this one..its all basics ..its all vegetarian..enjoy..and typical healthy home food too

Anonymous said...

here is another one..This is any new bride's essential from the part I come from..

eatme_delicious said...

anonymous: Thanks for the cookbook suggestions, I've added them to my list of cookbooks to buy!

Anonymous said...

u are welcome but Indian food is a paradigm change...meaning we take our carbs as the main course(Rice/wheat) and veggies as an accompaniment ..Both in curry/gravy form as well as dry....they range from simplistic to may get a few trys and palate adjustments to get it right ...but it may be worth it

Archana said...

So delicious. Can I substitute couscous, dont seem to be getting bulgur in India, will keep looking though. I would love for you to send this salad to the ONE DISH MEAL- Salad event that I am hosting. This seems so perfect. The rules for the event is in my site. Thank you :)

eatme_delicious said...

Archana: Yea I think couscous would be a fine substitute, or any other grain!

Jabba said...

Thanks for the great recipe. We made it the other night, but substituted quinoa for the bulghur. It also keeps well in the fridge for a couple days after. (Even the walnuts!)
We'll be adding it to our regular rotation of recipes..