1 cup bulgur wheat
2 cups water
1½ teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons red onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 small Persian (or other) cucumbers, diced
⅓-½ cup chopped fresh parsley
⅓-½ cup chopped fresh dill
¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from 1-2 lemons)
¼ cup olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1 teaspoon sugar
1-1½ teaspoons cumin
dash of black pepper
crumbled feta cheese
Bulgur wheat, a traditional Middle Eastern grain, is sold in a parboiled state and, therefore, does not need to be further cooked. Simply follow directions for soaking below…
If soaking bulgur wheat overnight: Rinse 1 cup of bulgur wheat grains for one minute to remove extra starchy stuff. Then place bulgur with 2 cups water in a glass bowl. Cover and let sit overnight. Drain any remaining water before using. When ready, bulgur wheat grains should be soft, but not mushy.
If soaking bulgur day-of: Follow directions above and and soak bulgur grains for approximately 5 hours (give or take).
Set feta cheese aside. Chop and toss everything (except salt and pepper), including liquids with prepared bulgar wheat. If you like, sauté the onion in 1 teaspoon olive oil for one minute to cut the bite—or if you like raw onion, just toss it in. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with crumbled feta and serve chilled. Keeps well in the fridge for days!
Unrequested Anecdote: It took me several tries to get my bulgar wheat to turn out—and all because I got online and tried to cook the darn stuff (as recommended by the very chef from whom I borrowed the original version of this recipe!). I finally wised up and talked with my Israeli friend.
“Cook it?” she said. “You don’t cook bulgar wheat.”
First time I soaked it; turned out perfectly.
Michelle can be found at her blog Kickin’ It in the Kitchen. Besides recipes and a good sense of humor, she offers workshops on meal planning, as well as ones titled “Welcome to the Table, Little One,” “Thinking Outside of the Lunch Box,” “Homemade Baby Food,” and the tantalizing “Scrounge.”