Bulghur Salad with Roasted Peppers

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This is a colourful evocation of Mediterranean sunshine which can be varied according to available or preferred vegetables.
Chargrilled courgettes and/or red onions would also work.

Bulghur is cracked wheat which has already been cooked and dried, needing only to be soaked or steamed to revive it.

Most common to Middle Eastern cuisine (especially in tabbouleh), bulghur wheat can also be used to thicken soups and stews.

Its nutty texture and easy preparation make it an ideal conduit for any number of salad combinations.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked bulgur
  • 1 red + 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 75g pine nuts
  • Large bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika (optional)
  • 2 spring onions
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp. organic olive oil
  • 4 or 5 garlic cloves

Method

How to Cook Bulghur

  1. Measure 1 part bulghur to 1 ½ part water or vegetable stock.
  2. Place in a large bowl and pour the boiling liquid over, cover tightly and leave to steam. It will take 20 minutes or more for the grain to absorb all the liquid.
  3. The final texture should be dry when a fork is raked through to loosen the grains.

Bulghur Salad with Roasted Peppers

  1. Preheat oven to 200c fan.
  2. Line a large, flat baking sheet with baking parchment or oil the base of the baking sheet.
  3. Halve the peppers and arrange on the baking sheet cut-side down.
  4. When the oven is ready, roast for 30-35 mins or until the skin is shrivelled and lightly blistered/charred.
  5. The garlic can be thrown in with the peppers about 10 minutes before the end of cooking.
  6. Once cooked, remove the peppers and place immediately into a bowl and cover with cling film. Their skins will be easy to remove once they have steamed and cooled.
    Save the sweet juices to add to the dressing.
  7. Squeeze the garlic from their skins and mash with the side of a knife.
  8. Make the dressing by combining the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, paprika and 1tbsp. juices from the peppers.
  9. Roughly chop the parsley and spring onion
  10. Toast the pine nuts on a hot pan for just a minute or so; they can very easily burn. Remove immediately from the hot pan to cool.
  11. Combine the peppers, pine nuts, onions and parsley with the bulghur and drizzle with dressing just before serving.

red and green peppers

Nutrition

Pine nuts are actually edible seeds that grow underneath the scales of pine cones. Pine nuts are a good source of protein as well as containing many important health giving nutrients including iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, B vitamins and vitamin E.

Peppers after toasting or charring on the grill brings a new depth of flavour to a dish. The flesh becomes soft and sweet, making it perfect for adding to mediterraian style dishes, salads, soups, sauces or dips.

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