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Bulgur Salad

  • August 19, 2022

Summertime is the season for barbecues, picnics and salads, but you may be looking for something different than the ubiquitous potato, macaroni or tomato salad. If you’ve ever eaten the middle Eastern dish of tabbouleh, you’ve had bulgur, a cracked wheat grain from kernels that are parboiled and dried before packaging. As a result, bulgur takes just a few minutes to cook, making it the perfect, easy grain when you want something different and don’t have much time. Just bring some water to a boil, dump in the bulgur, place the lid on top, turn off the heat and wait ten minutes. Fluff it with a fork, and you’re ready to use it — either hot with condiments, or in this case, cold with a lot of veggies and salad dressing. It’s like an artist’s canvas waiting for your creativity. In this case, I added chickpeas, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, scallions and parsley, plus some sheep’s milk feta cheese, then tossed it with a simple oil and vinegar dressing. It’s a great side dish, but could be a whole meal in itself, since it’s got the chickpeas and feta for protein, along with the vegetables. So try it and bring it to your next party or make it just for yourself. It lasts for a few days in the fridge, so you can enjoy the leftovers for lunch.


Bulgur Salad
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 cups bulgur
  • 5 cups water
  • ½ cup cucumber, finely diced
  • ½ red pepper, minced
  • 3 scallions, sliced thinly
  • a dozen cherry or grape tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • 6 ounces sheep's milk feta, cut into small pieces
  • 1 15 ounce can chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • a bunch of parsley, minced
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup vinegar (I used white balsamic)
  • salt, pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Bring the water to a boil.
  2. Add the bulgur, turn off the heat and put a lid on the pot.
  3. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes, then fluff with a fork and place in a bowl to cool.
  4. When the bulgur is cool, add the rest of the ingredients and mix well with the oil and vinegar.
  5. Adjust seasonings if more salt or pepper is needed.
 

Chilled Cucumber Soup

  • August 7, 2019

Here’s another one of those no-cook recipes when the summer heat has you fleeing your stove. It also is timely for those of you gardeners who have more an abundance of cucumbers. I’m not growing any in my small plot, but my niece Keri gave me a couple from her garden, and I think I put them to good use in this recipe, from Melissa Clark of The New York Times.

You’ll note there are anchovies in the recipe and they are listed as optional. But DON’T leave them out, even if you hate anchovies (are you listening, Marie?) You absolutely cannot taste them in this recipe, but I guarantee you, the soup won’t be as flavorful without them. Cucumbers are so mild that this soup needs the jalapeño, the herbs, the garlic, the vinegar and yes, the anchovies, to give it the umph it needs, lest it turn out as a bland bowl of puréed cucumbers. Trust me on this one, please. And don’t leave out the corn garnish. The extra texture and taste really lends it a nice finishing touch.

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Chilled Cucumber Soup
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 pound cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 2 cups buttermilk (I USED 1½ cups plain yogurt plus ¼ cup water)
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and smashed
  • 2 anchovy fillets (optional)
  • 2 small whole scallions, trimmed
  • ½ jalapeño, seeded, deveined and chopped
  • ½ cup packed mixed fresh herbs (like mint, parsley, dill, tarragon, basil and cilantro - I USED DILL AND PARSLEY)
  • ½ teaspoon sherry or white wine vinegar, more to taste
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 ear of corn, shucked, kernels sliced off
  • Fresh dill, for serving
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a blender or food processor, combine cucumber, buttermilk, garlic, anchovy, scallions, jalapeño, fresh herbs, sherry vinegar and salt.
  2. Blend until smooth and adjust seasoning as needed.
  3. Let the soup sit in the refrigerator for at least two hours to blend all the flavors.
  4. Distribute soup between 4 bowls and garnish with raw corn kernels and a drizzle of olive oil.