Cool Vegetarian Summer Supper with a Secret Ingredient You’ll Love!

In summer, I like to eat what’s in season – delicious fruits and veggies.  Although our family eats primarily a plant-based diet, this grain salad merits a menu designed for omnivore dinner guests!  It has a secret ingredient that I would not have anticipated – Molassas!

I have adapted this recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, Williams-Sonoma’s “Good for You: Easy, Healthy Recipes for Every Day.”

Bulgur Salad with Peppers, Chickpeas & Pistachios

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Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups bulgur wheat (I used tone 8.8 oz. bag of Central Market’s “Quick Cook Grains Bulgur” purchased at HEB)
  • 2.5 cups no-sodium added vegetable broth
  • Juice from one lemon and one lime (this is what I had on hand.  The recipe calls for .25 cups fresh lemon juice)
  • .25 cup of molasses (this was the kicker ingredient that really made the salad)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Salt, freshly-ground pepper, and Goya Adobo Seasoning (the recipe called only for salt and pepper, but Adobo makes everything better!)
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 large red bell peppers (you could substitute jarred roasted red peppers in a pinch, but I used fresh)
  • 3 oz. (about .75 cups) of shelled pistachio nuts, toasted
  • .5 cup chopped fresh cilantro (you could also use flat-leaf parsley if you like that better)
  • 1 five oz. package (about 1 cup) of tart dried cherries, roughly chopped

1.  Bring your broth to a boil.  I did this in a glass measuring cup in the microwave.  Pour the broth over the bulgur.  I did so in a large plastic tupperware container with a lid.  Place a lid over the bulgur and let it sit for 30 minutes.

2.  Drain and rinse the chickpeas, and put them in a bowl.  Toss the chickpeas with .5 teaspoon of salt and set aside.

3.  Whisk together the citrus juice, molasses, sugar, 1.5 teaspoons of Adobo (or salt), a bit of freshly-ground pepper.  When the sugar is dissolved, add the olive oil, and set this dressing aside until the bulgur has been sitting for its 30 minutes.

4.  Re-whisk the dressing and add it and the chickpea mixture to the bulgur.  Cover the bulgur mix and refrigerate it for 2 hours.

5.  Roast the red peppers by broiling them on a baking sheet, turning often.  I used my counter-top convection/toaster oven, and it took about 20 minutes.  Remove the peppers with tongs, place them in  a covered dish for about 15-20 minutes to steam.  This will cause the blistered skin of the peppers to separate from the flesh of the pepper.  When fully steamed, remove the skins with your fingers.  Cut open, and remove the pepper’s stem and seeds.  Dice the peppers.

6.  Lightly toast your pistachios (toasting nuts dramatically intensifies the flavor).  Add the pistachios, roasted peppers, cilantro, and cherries to the bulgur and stir well.  Season for taste (mine was literally perfect and needed nothing more).  Serve immediately.

I plan to serve this meal again tomorrow.  It provides the perfect balance of carbohydrate, protein, and fat while delivering antioxidants and fiber.  Delicious!

I then served this salad with plain cucumber slices and hulled strawberries.  Please let me know how you modify this yummy recipe!

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