Sunday, May 14, 2017

Trying a New Grain- Bulgur Wheat

It's Sunday Funday. Around here, that means The Chef is rocking on guitar and I'm experimenting in the kitchen. The best part is while I am slaving away in the kitchen I get all the free screaming guitar I want. Some people have just one passion in their life, some people have several. The Chef has two. Cooking, and music. His time is literally spent doing one thing or the other. Culinary wise, we are on the same page. Musically, however, we have some differences. He likes classic rock, I am a definite hard core thrash/speed/death metal lover. He plays Stranglehold and I'd like to strangle him. I play Love You to Death and he moans and groans. We do have some musicians and bands that we both love, and that's cool. It works for us. 

It's been a while since we have cooked with a "new" grain around here. Time to get back on the wagon, especially since that was one of my Foodie Resolutions for 2016 and we are about halfway through 2017! So far we have experimented with wheat berries, millet, and a few other grains. The Chef recently took all of my grain hoard out of the pantry and set it on the kitchen island, so we could make some meal plans and use some of these. There are a few more I've been hearing about but I'm strictly forbidden from buying anymore until we use these ones up. It's time for bulgur wheat to make it's appearance. What is it anyway? Bulgur wheat is a grain that has been parcooked and dried. It's a very common grain in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking. If you've ever heard of, or tried, tabbouleh, then you know what we're talking about.

Bulgur is another grain that's very high in protein and fiber, with loads of health benefits. What's not to like about that? The recipe we are making today is a salad. I call it jeweled because the bright color of the pomegranate seeds or cranberries look like sparking rubies, and the bright green parsley and scallion tops remind me of emeralds. You can serve this as a side dish or it can easily be turned into an entree with a bit of leftover chicken to bump up the protein, some crumbled cheese or just as it is for a great vegetarian option.

Jeweled Bulgur Salad with Lime

2 cups bulgur wheat

1 can garbanzo beans
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries
small bunch parsley- chopped (about 1 cup)
2 limes, zest and juice
4 tb olive oil
1 tsp cumin
2 tb honey
2-3 scallions, sliced, including the green parts

To cook the bulgur, place the 2 cups wheat in a bowl. Add 4 cups boiling water. Cover and let sit for at least an hour. Drain off any excess liquid.

In large bowl combine garbanzo beans, pomegranate seeds or cranberries, lime zest, scallions and parsley. Toss with bulgur.

In a small bowl whisk together the lime juice from the two limes, the oil and the honey.

Serve at room temperature for best flavor. The cranberries (I used cranberries as pomegranates weren't available) add a lovely sweet taste and spark of acidic tartness and the parsley adds such an herbal flavor.

Speaking of parsley, have I ever mentioned how much I love parsley in salad? I grow loads of it in the summer. Love love love big handfuls tossed in a leafy green salad. The leaves are bright and peppery and I love their perky flavor. Italian flat leaf parsley is the best but I grow both because I love them both. Another great fresh herb that is wonderful in salads, including this one, is basil. That's another herb that comes in lots of varieties and colors and looks gorgeous and tastes delicious. Mint is another herb that is a bright addition to salads. 

No comments:

Post a Comment