Week 37: Mediterranean Grain Salad

This is my first attempt at a Martha Stewart recipe, from a book that’s been baffling me for years.  It was sunny again and it was demanded that I make another salad… and as a bonus this recipe is perfect for Fiesta Friday and a very tenuous contender for June’s Cheese Please (if you count parsley as a herb).

Martha suggests that this is an ideal dish to make the next time you’re invited to a pot luck party.  I’m pretty sure that’s not the car-keys party… but even if it is, bulgur wheat is a healthy alternative to pasta.

All the measurements are written in crazy measurements, so I’ve put them into grams.  This will make enough for 4 as a main course, or 8 as a side salad with something more filling.

You will need 275g Bulgur Wheat, 300g (a pack) cherry/grape tomaoes, parsley, 2 shallots, 4tbs red-wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper, 120g fresh goats cheese.

Firstly put the bulgur wheat, a teaspoon of salt and a pint of boiling water into a heatproof bowl and cover with clingfilm for 30 minutes.  While the wheat is soaking half the tomatoes, mince the shallots, and roughly chop up the parsley.  The recipe calls for an actual bush of parsley but I probably put in about a handful.

grainsalad1

Drain the bulgur wheat really well so no water remains and put back in the bowl with the 4tbs of vinegar, 2 tbs plus 2tsp of olive oil (I’d just round it up to 3tbs), the tomatoes, shallots, and parsley, stir it all up so the oil is combined.  Next season it with some pepper.  Serve with goats cheese crumbled over the top.

grainsalad2

I’m not sure what I think about this salad.  I love bulgur wheat so that was good – but it really wasn’t very Mediterranean.  Maybe if it had used some sun-dried tomatoes it would have been a start… and been less vinegar-y.  I think to change the recipe I would try putting the vinegar in with the boiling water so it’s less over-powering.

One of my favourite things about doing New Recipe Night is cooking with new ingredients that have newer before darkened my kitchen counter.  This week that honour fell to the the humble shallot.  They’re pretty tricky to cut aren’t they?

This time I just used bog standard goats cheese from Chiswick Sainsbury’s, but next time I’ll head over to the cheese shop and get a better one.

grainsalad3

I would recommend this for a party, or a barbeque, or just a simple fiesta, but you should make it the day before and keep it in the fridge over night so the flavours blend better, and then drizzle with some fresh olive oil before fluffing it up and serving.

 

Check these out for something else to cook if Martha’s not so Mediterranean Grain Salad doesn’t tickle your fancy:

Fiesta Friday #21 http://thenovicegardener.wordpress.com/2014/06/20/fiesta-friday-21/

Junes Cheese, Please! http://fromagehomage.co.uk/2014/06/02/junes-cheese-please-recipe-blog-challenge-herbs/

 

Martha Stewart’s Everyday Light, by Martha Stewart (Transworld Publishers 2011, ISBN 9780593070529)

Marthaeverydaylight

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16 comments

  1. Looks good – we had something similar last week. I am a new fan of bulgur wheat. And of course parsley’s a herb! 😉 Thanks for sharing with Cheese, Please! this month.

    1. I’d never had bulgur wheat before until this spring and now eat it all the time (my lover has trouble with rice so it often stands in for it) but it’s the first time it’s featured in New Recipe Night!

      Cheese shop tomorrow! 🙂

  2. Hello Simon! So nice to ‘meet’ you via Fiesta Friday! I love bulgur wheat – it is just so brilliant for a salad but it is quite bland so needs lots of flavouring. I dissolve half a cube of veg stock in the water before I add the bulgur and a few chopped olives might make it more Med-like too. Happy Fiesta Friday to you!

    1. Ooo I’ll give that a try! I sometimes make it in a pan with a preserved lemon and half a cinnamon stick – it’s delicious with chilli but does taste a bit like a Christmas candle with anything blander 🙂 great to meet you too!

    2. Ooo I’ll give that a try! I thought maybe some olives too – next time definitely! I sometimes make it in a pan with a preserved lemon and half a cinnamon stick – it’s delicious with chilli but does taste a bit like a Christmas candle with anything blander 🙂 great to meet you too!

  3. Bulgur is something I still have not tried to cook, but I was able to find it recently at the specialty store. I will have to pin this recipe and try it at a future date. I love the simplicity of this salad, so satisfying and fresh.

    1. It’s a great salad – just let it sit in the fridge for a bit before it’s ready – tastes much better after an overnight chill! Bulgur wheats my current favourite thing, but that might change soon, I saw giant cous cous in the shop the other day 🙂

  4. Wow, well Martha was right, this is perfect for a party like FF! Thanks so much for treating us to this tonight! I was thinking that if it is too vinegary, you might try using apple cider vinegar. I often use it with quinoa and it is more mellow! I really hope you enjoy the party!

  5. The salad looks great, and I like your tip about leaving it overnight in the fridge so the flavours blend better. Even if it’s not strictly speaking Mediterranean, it looks like a great summer BBQ side!

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