With the mercury hitting 105 Deg and more, I really don’t want to go into the kitchen in the evenings. Plus food doesn’t really seem appetizing when you are fighting the heat, trying to stay cool. I generally prefer hearty salads at this time that don’t need much cooking and can be eaten cold or at room temperature.
Bulgur Vegetable Summer salad sounds very simple. It is very simple to make. But not that simple when you eat it. It all depends on the dressing. You can change some ingredients and make different types of dressings here. A really flavorful dressing, fresh and colorful veggies, and chewy wholesome bulgur make this hearty and healthy at the same time. Add crumbled tofu or paneer in the salad itself, or serve some grilled on the side and you have a complete meal that did not make you sweat.
Bulgur or Dalia or broken wheat is high in fiber, has a low GI and is great for filling you up. It has a chewy texture that makes it much more interesting than just pasta or plain rice.
I have used colored peppers, mushrooms and lots of broccoli as my vegetable base. The dressing is inspired by honey mustard and is natural and made from scratch.
The detailed recipe is as follows –
2 cups uncooked bulgur
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1-2 cups chopped peppers
2 cups broccoli florets
4 cups vegetable stock
salt and pepper
1 tsp paprika
for the dressing
2 cloves crushed/grated garlic
1 tsp mustard powder
2 Tbsp honey
4 Tbsp lemon juice
7-8 Tbsp EVOO
salt and pepper
1. Heat vegetable stock if you have it or make it from scratch. Since stock in a carton or Swanson broth is not available in Pune, I made my own. For this, take 1 onion, 1 carrot, 1-2 cauliflower florets, chunk of cabbage, celery, a few whole peppercorns and 1 bay leaf in about 2 liters of water. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer. Drain to get fresh vegetable stock.
Vegetable stock is the essential ingredient in this salad, and it is worth spending time to make your own!!
2. Place the uncooked bulgur in a bowl. Pour boiling hot stock over it, 4 cups for 2 cups bulgur. Cover immediately and let it rest for half an hour. If bulgur has absorbed all the stock and become fluffy like couscous, mix it up with a fork and set aside. Otherwise, you might have to cook it more in a stock pot.
This is because quality of bulgur varies from place to place. I have used the ‘add stock and cover’ method many times in Richmond, and it was enough. But I find that I need to cook it more in Pune.
3. Cut broccoli into florets, blanch in boiling water and plunge in cold water to stop cooking. This is important to retain green color.
4. Chop the peppers and the mushrooms.
5. For the dressing – add all ingredients except oil to a bowl. Start whisking as you add oil until the dressing emulsifies. You can control how much oil you want to add.
The good olive oil gives a lot of flavor to the dressing and salad.
6. Mix the cooked bulgur, veggies and dressing and toss lightly. Check seasoning and add more. A salad needs good seasoning because we are using limited ingredients to flavor it.
7. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Suggested method is to refrigerate at least for 4 hours or overnight so that all the flavors mingle.
I hope you try this simple bulgur vegetable summer salad or dalia salad. You can use vegetables of your choice, Sweet corn and olives would make a good addition here, even grated carrots.