turkish bulgur salad

VEGETARIAN | CAN BE GLUTEN-FREE*

Veggie lovers, rejoice. This Turkish bulgur salad was a surprise win, created because of two factors:

  • My pantry is officially stuffed to the max, so I wanted to use up some stuff (bulgur, roasted red peppers).
  • We had some leftover slow-cooked lamb, so I was feeling very Mediterranean.

Bulgur is a whole wheat grain that has been cracked and partially cooked. It’s super high in fiber (26 grams per cup) and a good source of protein, too (17 grams per cup).

Because it’s partially cooked, it cooks super fast — like in 10 minutes. Use this recipe as an opportunity to practice your ninja vegetable cutting skills, chopping the veggies while the bulgur cooks — just don’t hurt yourself.

Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s both have these great 10-minute packages of bulgur and farro. I like the size of these packages because they are enough for a dinner side dish for 2, and then lunch the next day. Also, both these grains taste even better when they’ve had a little time to soak in all the flavas, so win-win-win.

I feel justified in calling this a salad because of the abundance of nutrient-rich veggies. You get some asparagus, tomatoes, red onion, spinach, and roasted red peppers. Although this feels like a pasta dish when you eat it, the bulgur keeps it filling and healthy. Mint, feta, and lemon add a tangy freshness that will have you craving it again and again.

This salad is definitely on my picnic roster this spring. Tennessee has the most amazing waterfalls and I can’t wait to climb all of them once my knee is fully healed. Yes to life! Yes to springtime!

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 oz. bulgur (about 2 cups)* (for gluten-free, use farro or quinoa)
  • 1/4 of a red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1/2 bunch of asparagus
  • 1 large handful of baby spinach
  • 1/2 14 oz. jar of roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, cubed or crumbled
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • sea salt
  • pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cook bulgur according to package instructions. When bulgur is cooked, strain and toss with a little olive oil in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Mix lemon juice, olive oil, chopped mint leaves, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Cut off last inch of asparagus and discard. Cut the asparagus into 1 inch pieces.
  4. Place asparagus in a small skillet with about 1/4 cup of water. Cover and cook over medium-high heat until asparagus is fork-tender.
  5. Add chopped/sliced veggies, feta, raisins, and dressing to bulgur and toss together. Enjoy.

SERVING

Serve this with grilled chicken or shrimp, roasted lamb, or grilled portobello mushrooms. It’s great fresh, but even tastier if you give it a night in the fridge to let all the flavors marinate. Red wine pairs beautifully with these flavors.

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