Sunday, April 7, 2013

Bulgur Salad with Cucumbers, Red Peppers, Chick Peas, Lemon and Dill

I love it when my friends send me recipes that they've tried just knowing that I would enjoy the recipe as well! This was sent to me by my friend Ginny a few weeks back.  I'm switching gears from comfort foods to enjoying salads with this Spring weather. Does anyone else notice that they don't seem to want the comfort stuff as much anymore? I know I don't! Bring on the fresh Michigan produce and refreshing salads. This seemed like the perfect recipe to prep this week and I am SO glad I did. I gave it a try and it's absolutely delicious!

Bulgur is a quick cooking form of whole wheat that is more nutritious than rice.  It's the typical base for tabouli salad and is great in salads, soups, casseroles and as a side dish. You can even eat it for breakfast! This is one of those things that I keep in my cabinet as a staple because it's so versatile. You could also sub quinoa into this recipe but I really like the nutty texture of the bulgur.  Yum. 
  
Bulgur Salad with Cucumbers, Red Peppers, Chick Peas, Lemon and Dill
Servings: 4-6 as a side dish (2-3 as a main course)

Total Time: 40 Minutes


Ingredients

  • 1 cup bulgur or light bulgur
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small English (or hothouse) cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 15-ounce can chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, from 1-2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, best quality such as Lucini or Colavita
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Instructions

* Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Place the bulgur in a large bowl with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1-1/4 cups boiling water. Cover the bowl tightly with saran wrap and let sit for 25-30 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed.   

* Meanwhile, to soften the bite of the raw onions, place them in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Let them sit for ten minutes, and then drain. (Feel free to skip this step if you don't mind the taste of raw onions.) Combine the cooked bulgur with the red onions, remaining teaspoon of salt (I know it seems like a lot but the salad is bland without it) and all of the other ingredients. Season to taste with more salt, pepper, sugar or lemon if desired. Serve cold.

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