the taste space

Bulgur and Grape Salad with Nuts and Cranberries

Posted in Mains (Vegetarian), Salads by janet @ the taste space on October 22, 2010

Some doctors treat patients, and others go into research. The insane do both. I don’t know where I want to fit in just yet.

A positive point for research is that a discovery can help thousands or millions of people, whereas as a solo practitioner, you help one patient at a time.

It is kind of analogous to food blogging.

I can cook something at home and share it with friends and family. I have affected only a handful of people. But when I blog about it, it can reach to the furthest depths of the interspace. People from around the globe can read and try the dish to their own tastes.

While I love reading reader comments, I also really enjoy that instant gratification from sharing food with friends. Especially when it is new for them. Considering how little I repeat recipes, it is likely new for me too! A bit of Russian roulette.

Case in point: this salad. I shared it not once, but twice, with friends from out-of-town. It was fun to introduce my summer salad sensation, coarse bulgur. However, they misheard me the first time and thought I said “Booger salad”. Yes, my friends, I am serving you booger salad. From my childhood cookbook, which also included recipes for barbecued worms and muddy caterpillar hotdogs (I am not making this up, that’s what I did as a kid).

Thankfully there is no mud and no insects were harmed in creating this bulgur, I mean booger, salad. It is a light and bright salad, with lots of vegetables (spinach, bell peppers, broccoli), satisfying nutty pan-fried chickpeas with a crunch from both the almonds and sunflower seeds. A special sweet crunch comes from the red grapes. The balsamic-lemon dressing pulls everything together along with the base of coarse bulgur.

I adapted the recipe from Unsweetened Cocoa, who was inspired by Fine Cooking.

This is my submission to Blog Bites 8, featuring one-dish meals.

Bulgur and Grape Salad with Nuts and Cranberries

1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup almonds, sliced
19-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup coarse bulgur
1/4 cup dried cranberries
4 ounces fresh spinach
1 small bunch broccoli, trimmed
1 red pepper, diced
1 cup red seedless grapes, washed and cut in halves
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
juice of one lemon (or less, I found the dressing a bit tart)
salt and pepper

1. Over medium heat in a skillet, toast your sunflowers seeds and set aside. Then toast your almonds until golden brown, and set aside.

2. With a dash of oil, add chickpeas to skillet and roast over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, until golden-brown.

3. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add bulgur, cover pot and let simmer for 20 minutes until soft and has absorbed the water.

4. Pour a a few inches of water into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil; add your broccoli and let it steam for a few minutes, until bright-green and still crisp. Drain the water and toss the broccoli with the fresh spinach; the heat will wilt the spinach down slightly. Set aside and let cool slightly.

5. Add the grapes, nuts and seeds, diced pepper, dried cranberries, and cooled chickpeas, to the cooled bulgur.

6. In a small bowl, add your olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Mix well and add to salad when serving. Taste and adjust for seasoning.

7. When your broccoli and spinach have cooled, add to the bulgur mix. Blend well and enjoy. Store in fridge.

Makes 6-8 main course meals.

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6 Responses

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  1. Nupur said, on October 23, 2010 at 6:11 AM

    Booger salad- mmm mmm mmm :D

    Thanks for this wonderful, colorful entry!

  2. Joanne said, on October 23, 2010 at 7:16 AM

    I am always going back and forth on where I want to fit into the medical world also. Some days it’s all research…some days it’s all patients…some days it’s a mix of both. Who knows.

    This bulgur (err booger) salad looks fantastic. You really are amazing at combining flavors and textures to make these magical grain salads.

  3. Christine@Christine's Recipes said, on October 26, 2010 at 12:51 AM

    Your post is amusing. The dish looks very tempting. Love to try a full spoon of your “Booger salad”, lol.

  4. tigerfish said, on October 26, 2010 at 3:06 PM

    So, we cook and we blog – we are insane too! ;p

  5. […] wonderful pan-roasted chickpeas are, creamy, nutty and flavourful. They always add extra oomph to a salad and did not disappoint […]

  6. Ashley said, on November 4, 2010 at 11:36 AM

    Umm I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on all of these amazing salads you’ve been posting!! (I’m so behind on blog reading.) These types of salads are the types I am always looking for but don’t often come across a good one so I can’t wait to try yours out. I love that there are sunflower seeds in here mmm.


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