Mediterranean Grain Salad
This is a crazy simple recipe that will make you want to give up the generic pasta salad for the summer. We play around with salads a lot this time of year… I love pasta salads but I like to find lighter alternatives and this is a great one. By using the same flavors and ingredients used in most pasta salads and just replacing the pasta with a whole grain, you not only have a healthier salad but it’s unique which makes it a great dish to bring somewhere! I used bulgar wheat as the grain in this salad, which is precooked wheat that’s been dried and cracked. What I love about bulgar is that it’s low-maintenance to cook… all you have to do is pour boiling water over it and cover it, if that’s not the easiest thing in the world I don’t know what is! It gets tossed with some great flavors (tomatoes, shallots, parsley, oil and vinegar) and then coated with goat cheese that gives it an unbelievably creamy texture that’s to die for!
Start by cooking your bulgar wheat: Place 1 1/3 cups bulgar wheat in a heatproof bowl with 1 tsp salt. Pour in 2 2/3 cups boiling water, stir, cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for 30 minutes. Working a little bit at a time, place the bulgar wheat in a fine mesh sieve over the sink and use a spatula to press the excess water out. In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 pint of halved grape tomatoes, 1 1/2 cups loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, 2 small minced shallots, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar and 3 tbsp olive oil.
Add the bulgar wheat to this and toss to combine. Add in 3 oz goat cheese thats been crumbled into small pieces. Since the bulgar is still a little warm, it will melt the goat cheese coating the entire salad in a creamy layer. Transfer your salad to a serving bowl and dot with 1 oz goat cheese.
If you like this recipe, check out my post on Veggie Burgers 3 Ways where I used Bulgar Wheat for one of the patties!