A Flavorful Grain Salad with Lemon and Fresh Vegetables
- 1 1/2 cups medium coarse #3 bulgur
- 1 can chick peas
- 2 cups sliced/chopped fresh vegetables of your choice
- favorite seasonings or salt and pepper
Cook the bulgur. Add 3 cups boiling water, along with a big pinch of salt, and simmer, partly covered, for 10 to 15 minutes, until the grains are soft and the water is absorbed.
Dump the grains into a salad bowl, add the chickpeas and dress it all with the juice of one lemon, several pinches of salt, a glug of olive oil and a pinch each of cumin and cayenne. Do this while the bulgur is still warm, tasting as you go. Add a squirt of and any citrus fruit for a extra special fresh flavor. A drizzle of balsamic vinegar would do just as well.
When the bulgur is cool and nicely seasoned, stir in a couple of sliced scallions (or a large shallot or about ¼ cup sliced onion) and a cup or so of minced herbs — any herbs such as dill, cilantro, parsley and mint, chopping up the tender stems too.
Then add the vegetables. Try cucumber, radishes cherry tomatoes, carrots, celery, bell peppers, cabbage, or any of your other favorites. You’ll need about 2 cups total. Lightly steamed asparagus or broccoli are good too.
The fresh vegetables add freshness and lighten up the starchiness of the grains and beans.
Here’s a trick from Melissa Clark of the New York Times: While the vegetables are still on the cutting board, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, and some dried oregano if you like. Then, after a minute, drizzle them with more lemon juice before tossing into the bowl. This seasons them separately and thoroughly in the easiest way possible.
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