Author Notes: Grain salads make a terrific lunch, summer or winter, and this one has infinite variations. The key is to use an extra coarse grind of bulgur, for its nutty flavor and chewy texture, and to toast the walnuts and pumpkin seeds. Bulgarian Feta is creamy and mild; feel free to experiment with other kinds.
Proportions here are for a cup of grain, but you can increase the amount if you wish. Just use equal parts grain and water. (Contrary to what your mother taught you, in this instance use the same measuring cup for both water and grain.) Add nuts, vegetables, seeds, cheese and herbs as suits your taste. —calendargirl
Makes: 4-6 servings
coarse grind bulgur (# 4)
freshly toasted walnut halves
freshly toasted pumpkin seeds
asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
scallions, white and light green parts only, cut into thin slices
1 1/2 ounces
fresh Bulgarian Feta (chunk, about 1" x 1 1/2" x 2"), roughly crumbled
generous 1/4 cup
Italian parsley, roughly chopped
freshly squeezed lemon juice
best olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Place bulgur in medium bowl, add boiling water and let sit, covered, until water is absorbed. This will take an hour or more, depending on the grind of the bulgur.
- While the bulgur is soaking, toast the walnuts and pumpkin seeds (separately) in a heavy frying pan, watching and tossing over medium low heat, until lightly colored. Set aside to cool.
- Next, cook the asparagus. Steam or par-boil or microwave, until just tender. Drain and cool in refrigerator on paper towel. When cool, cut into bite-size pieces.
- Chop scallions and parsley.
- When bulgur has absorbed all the water (check and if necessary, discard excess water), toss it lightly, then add walnuts, pumpkin seeds, asparagus, scallions, parsley and feta in a gentle mound on top of the grain.
- In a liquid measuring cup, add the lemon juice to the 1/4 cup mark, then fill to the 1/2 cup mark with olive oil. Whisk briefly with a fork and pour over the ingredients in the bowl. Toss everything together gently, mixing thoroughly, adding salt and pepper to taste.