Middle Eastern Salad

A lemon vinaigrette deliciously accents nutty bulgur wheat, chickpeas, cucumber, tomatoes, feta cheese, and pine nuts. You can make this salad ahead of time.–Dot Vartan

LC Beg Pardon, But What Exactly Is Bulgur Note

Bulgur wheat, according to author Dot Vartan, “is made from cooked wheat berries that have had the bran removed and are then dried and crushed. This light grain cooks quickly and has a nutty taste. It can be found in the natural food section of your local supermarket.”

Middle Eastern Salad Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 45 M
  • Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked bulgur wheat
  • One 15-ounce can chickpeas or garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup peeled and chopped cucumber
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 6 scallions, sliced
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons chopped fresh dill, or 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • One 4-ounce package crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted

Directions

  • 1. Bring the broth and bulgur to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 22 to 25 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and the bulgur is tender.
  • 2. Transfer the bulgur to a large non-reactive bowl. Cool to room temperature.
  • 3. Add the chickpeas, cucumber, celery, onions, and tomatoes. Mix to combine.
  • 4. Whisk together the oil, lemon juice, dill, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Fold in the cheese and pine nuts.
  • 5. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
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Testers Choice

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Testers Choice
Elsa M. Jacobson

May 08, 2007

Here’s a salad useful and tasty, not only with Middle Eastern foods, but also as a stand-alone for a simple lunch or even a light vegetarian entrée. I’ve made it for potlucks with great success. The pine nuts add a classy upscale touch, though I think it would be fine without the pine nuts, or with a substitution of sliced or slivered almonds, or halved or chopped walnuts. The multiple ingredients are colorful and texturally interesting. Every bite looks pretty on the fork and is full of surprises for the palate. It takes more than a couple of bites to get a little taste of all the interesting components. The bulgur is nutty and provides an excellent base. I have thought of trying this salad with couscous — plain, wheat, or Israeli (the large grained couscous) — or even with rice (a long-grained brown, like a basmati). The advantage of the bulgur (or the couscous substitute) is that these both cook very quickly, so the salad can be made without much pre-planning, so long as the ingredients are all on hand! I also think it would be lovely with a side of olives; in particular, the Herb-Marinated Olives on this site (Sondra Bernstein’s version) with the caperberries and thyme would be an excellent partner. I cooked my chickpeas from scratch, and I would always opt for the livelier flavor of fresh dill over dry, which can then also be used as an attractive garnish atop the salad.

Comments
Comments
  1. Susan says:

    This is delicious! The only I did different was to cook the bulgur in salted water and I used red onion instead of the green onions. Great summer recipe!

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