OK, so it’s most likely hot where you live and you probably don’t want to turn on the stove but are craving something hearty and healthy that doesn’t take much work. Alternately, it’s neither hot nor summer so you probably live in Australia, New Zealand or Seattle like me and just want an awesome lazy dinner.
Enter this Bulgur Salad. 8 Servings. Barely any cooking.
We are really just talking about a pot of boiling water for a couple minutes and cooking some bulgur. Mostly everything else is done on the cutting board and tossed into a bowl.
I haven’t done Bulgur Wheat much justice here since it is one of my favorite grains. We’ll have to change that, starting now, obviously. I make a big pot of bulgur most weeks, using it as a plain side dish, serving it alongside eggs and veggies for a quick go-to meal and of course, resulting in a huge Bulgur Salad “of the week”.
I could start a whole section on Everyday Maven just dedicated to my weekly Bulgur Salads but I think I would probably bore you. Well, unless you are obsessed with Bulgur like I am because then we could commiserate about which one we like the best and why and how we could then make it better.
Assuming that most of you are not into Bulgur like that, I will just plan to share one or two (maybe three) of my favorites. This one is colorful, fresh, full of flavor, feeds a crowd and most importantly, very satisfying!
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped
- 2 cups uncooked bulgur wheat
- 4 cups boiling water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup (2 ounces) sun-dried tomatoes, soaked and chopped
- 1.5 cups white beans (or 1 15-ounce can rinsed and drained)
- 1 pound asparagus, trimmed, blanched and cut into 2" pieces
- ½ cup packed basil leaves
- ½ cup packed parsley leaves
- 1 medium lemon, juiced and zest
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon red chili oil (optional)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Put up a pot of boiling water - at least 6 cups. (You are going to use about ½ cup to cover the sun-dried tomatoes, the rest to blanch the asparagus and then 4 cups of the asparagus water for the bulgur.)
- Finely chop garlic and onion (or toss in food processor if you are short on time - first garlic, then add in onion)
- Trim hard ends off asparagus, cut into 2" pieces.
- Pull basil and parsley leaves from stems. Roughly chop parsley and chiffonade basil.
- Zest lemon and juice into a small bowl. Rinse and drain beans if using canned.
- Place sun-dried tomatoes in a glass bowl or measuring cup and cover with boiling water. Set aside.
- Drop asparagus into boiling water. Cook for 2 minutes and immediately remove using a slotted spoon. Place asparagus in a bowl of ice water to shock them and stop the cooking process. Allow "asparagus water" to continue boiling.
- Place a saucepan over medium high heat. Once hot, add 2 teaspoons olive oil. Add garlic and onion and cook 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently until they begin to brown. Add bulgur and toast for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Pour 4 cups of the boiling asparagus water (slowly) over the bulgur. Add 1 teaspoon kosher salt, cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook 15 minutes.
- When done, remove lid and allow to sit uncovered and undisturbed for 5 minutes.
- Drain sun-dried tomatoes from water and slice into ½" pieces.
- Combine sun-dried tomatoes, asparagus, white beans, lemon juice, lemon zest, basil, parsley and cooked bulgur along with remaining 2 teaspoons kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper to taste, ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes and remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil (and chili oil if using). Toss to combine, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 to 4 hours for flavors to meld. Serve with a bit of fresh parsley and/or basil on top and Enjoy!