You don’t win friends with salad. Well, I think my friends could be won over by a tasty salad. Nothing says ‘I love you‘ better than a healthy, tasty meal, right? Or is it just me? While I do enjoy desserts, I am more likely to fawn over mangoes, raspberries, pomegranate molasses, baked eggs, marinaded tempeh and let’s not forget the best salad ever. Bulgur has also been a summer obsession and when I was invited to bring a salad to a BBQ gathering with friends, I thought this would be a perfect side salad for the tasty grillings.
This salad was adapted from Delicious Days, who called this “The Salad You Must Make”. I was very tempted. My winning salad was also made with bulgur, and I really like almonds, cranberries and lemon (yes, I cook with them a lot). I knew I had a great combination despite the seemingly simple ingredients, so I brought it along for BBQ bliss.
I really liked the salad, albeit a side salad. Truth be told, I wouldn’t normally make it for myself as I prefer one-dish meals. I was worried it would be dry (where is the dressing?) but it worked well together. The coarse bulgur was slightly creamy. The cranberries were sweet and the lemon zest a bit zippy with the nutty almond crunch. And the grande finale came from the sauteed green onions. They melted down and added that extra dimension (creamy? tasty? buttery? it was great anyhow). I think leeks could work as well, but green onions are cheaper so kudos to that!
Bulgur Salad with Cranberries, Lemon and Almonds
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup coarse bulgur
1/3 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp butter or extra virgin olive oil
3-4 green onions, finely chopped (leeks could work too!)
1/4 cup sliced almonds
zest from 1 lemon
sea salt, if necessary
1. Pour over the stock of your choice (vegetable or chicken) and bring to a boil, then add the bulgur and let simmer for a couple of minutes (stirring every now and then). Add cranberries and allow to continue simmering over low heat for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until the bulgur is soft. Drain excessive stock if necessary.
2. Meanwhile, toast the almonds in a skillet over medium heat without additional fat and constantly stir until they gain a nice golden brown color, but be careful not to burn them. Once done, remove from skillet.
3. Melt butter or oil in the same skillet and saute the green onions over medium heat until quite soft, about 5 minutes.
4. Combine bulgur with cranberries, green onions and lemon zest. Season to taste with additional salt. Add almonds prior to serving, either warm or cold.
Serves 4-6 as a side.