We’re still feeling the heat in Vancouver so salads are all that I’m eating currently. I had a bag of bulgur wheat in my pantry that had been sitting there after a while that was leftover from when I had made tabbouleh. I was curious to know how else bulgur wheat could be utilized and if there were different applications to use it in. I decided to make a carrot, herb and bulgur salad with delicious results.
Bulgur wheat is a grain made out of cracked wheat that is parboiled which makes for easy and quick cooking. Keep in mind that there are different sizes of bulgur – fine and medium grind. I typically see a medium grind available on most shelves and may be found in the ethnic aisle, near couscous. Because it is parboiled, it can be cooked in a short amount of time on the stove or even simply covered with boiling water. I love how easy it is to cook and how it can serve as an alternative to other grains like quinoa or amaranth. It’s a great ingredient to bulk up salads, soups and veggie burgers.
I typically use a fine bulgur for tabbouleh but I had a bag of medium grind bulgur and decided I wanted to bulk up a nice summer salad. In this case, I combined the bulgur with grated carrots, some chopped herbs, added some nuts and cheese and tossed in a quick vinaigrette. So filling and flavourful. It is a great salad to make ahead of time or even the evening before to allow the bulgur to soak up the vinaigrette. You can keep the salad completely vegan by omitting the cheese, but I would highly recommend keeping it in. Such an easy salad to make that is light and refreshing that you’ll be going back for seconds and thirds without feeling bad.
CARROT, HERB & BULGUR SALAD – serves 6 – 8
1 cup medium-grind bulgur wheat
1 large Asian carrot, or 6 carrots, grated (equivalent to 3 cups)
1 bunch, cilantro, chopped
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1 bunch mint, chiffonade
6 radishes, thinly-sliced with a mandolin
1 (540ml) can of chick peas, drained and rinsed
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp yellow mustard
½ tsp sumac
½ tsp cumin
salt + pepper, to taste
½ cup almonds, sliced and toasted
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
Bring 2 cups of boiling water and pour over the bulgur. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes. Drain any excess liquid and fluff with a fork. Transfer over to a serving bowl and let cool.
Add the grated carrot, chopped cilantro, scallions, mint, radishes and chick peas to the serving bowl.
In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sumac, mustard, cumin and salt and pepper. Whisk together and pour over the salad. Toss the salad to ensure that the entire salad is coated with the vinaigrette.
When ready to serve, top with crumbled feta cheese and toasted almonds.