Ingredients

1 cup bulgur wheat, medium grind
1 ½ cups cold water
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ pint of cherry or grape or pear tomatoes, either red, yellow, or a mixture of both
6 scallions, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, smashed
2-3 cups mixed hearty greens, such as escarole, chicory, and radicchio, cut into ribbons
olive oil
sea salt to taste

Directions

1. Heat a large flat-bottomed skillet over medium heat.  Add bulgur wheat to the dry pan to toast, stirring often.  Note: Bulgur goes from toasted to burned quickly, so remove the pan from the heat when the bulgur is nicely browned.
2. Immediately add the water and lemon juice to the bulgur, stir, then cover the pan with a tight fitting lid.  Set the pan aside for about an hour while the bulgur absorbs all the liquid.
3. Once all the liquid has been absorbed, fluff the grains lightly with a fork or spoon and turn the wheat into a large bowl.
4. Prepare your vegetables. Wash and thinly slice the scallions. Halve the tomatoes. Cut the greens into ribbons.
5. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic clove and stir, infusing the oil with the garlic. Remove the garlic clove. Add the greens to the pan and stir over medium heat until they just start to wilt slightly. Remove from heat immediately.
6. Add the greens, tomatoes and scallions to the cooled bulgur wheat and toss to evenly distribute.
7. Add sea salt only to taste, a little at a time to avoid over salting the dish. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top and serve. 

This salad tastes best the same day it is made but leftovers can be eaten the next day.

Recipe courtesy of Jane Ward, Food and Fiction Blog, 2011.

Chewy, nutty-tasting bulgur wheat, just-picked summer vegetables, the refreshing zing of lemon juice, this is a cool side dish wheat salad using summer’s sweetest and juiciest at their peak.

Jane Ward, creator and writer for the Food and Fiction blog, puts the emphasis on “cool.”  According to her cooking bulgur is hardly cooking at all.  Bulgur is essentially a whole grain type of couscous.  Like couscous, bulgur is made from mostly durum wheat, but wheat that retains a good part of the outer husk of bran.  But unlike brown rice with its outer bran covering, Bulgur doesn’t need a long boil to cook.  The grains have been partially boiled and then dried before packaging so, as with Moroccan couscous, bulgur needs only to steam in order to complete the cooking process.

The quick cooking method, together with and a healthy addition of wonderful seasonal ingredients, make Toasted Bulgur Wheat Salad with Cherry Tomatoes, Scallions and Wilted Greens the perfect summer side dish.  The dish’s simplicity allows the toasted bulgur and the sweet farm produce to shine.  She recommends that you try other combinations of vegetables as the summer progresses.  Fresh corn cut off the cob also works very well with the tomatoes. 

You’ll find bulgur in bulk bins or often packaged in the rice aisle of your grocery store.  Loose, you may even find bulgur in a variety of grinds; fine, medium, coarse, and extra coarse.  The already packaged bulgur tends to be sold in the medium grain, which is fine for this recipe.

She specifies sea salt here because this is a dish where, when finished, the taste of the salt matters.  Every subtle flavor should be in balance, from the toast on the bulgur to the delicate flavors of the vegetables and the zip of citrus, and a clean tasting salt added at the finish will enhance these rather than overwhelm.  The flaky Maldon salt is wonderful but a finer grind sea salt will work too.

Bulgur Wheat Salad
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