This bulgur salad is ideal for summer picnics or entertaining, make it a day ahead, fire up the BBQ and spend time with your guests, not in the kitchen.
Quite simply this bulgur salad is tabouli on steroids! Gorgeous summer vegetables are roasted until golden and sweet then added to nutty bulgur with lemon, oil then fresh herbs are added at the last minute to make a delicious aromatic salad that is just perfect for summer picnics, to make for large groups or to food prep for lunches throughout the week.
This is a vegan and vegetarian salad that can also be made gluten-free by using quinoa instead of bulgur.
Another salad that has graced our table many a time especially when entertaining large groups. Great for barbecues, I love it with grilled chicken breasts, anything with lamb, tagines and roasts. You could also add some grilled halloumi or some salty feta for some added deliciousness.
Try it with…
- a summer vegetable tagine
- a za’atar lamb roast
- easy grilled chicken breasts
- Greek beef and tomato stew
- Keftedes (Greek meatballs)
So what is burghul?
Burgul, burghal, bulgur, bulgar or whatever way you prefer to spell it originated in the Mediterranean and is a Middle Eastern staple grain.
An edible cereal grain made from dried, cracked wheat (most commonly durum wheat) that has been partially cooked so that it can be prepared relatively quickly.
Once cooked its texture is similar to cooked couscous or quinoa and it has a rich nutty almost caramel-like flavour.
How to make this burgul salad
1Prep your burgul
Before prepping your burgul, preheat your oven to 200ºC (400ºF).
Place 1 cup of burgul wheat in a medium-sized bowl add a pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon cumin powder.
Add 2 cups of boiling hot water to the burgul and stir.
Cover with a plate and allow to soak for at least 30 minutes.
PLACE BURGUL SALT & CUMIN IN BOWL
ADD 2 CUPS OF BOILING WATER & STIR
COVER WITH A PLATE
SOAK FOR 30 MINUTES
FLUFF WITH A FORK
ADD OIL & LEMON AND STIR
2Prep your veg…
While your burgul is soaking and your oven is heating.
Wash your vegetables, trim the ends of the eggplant, zucchini, pattypan squash and red onion.
Remove the papery skin from your red onion and the core and seeds from your capsicum.
Cut all your vegetables into small dice.
Line two large baking trays with baking paper, place the diced eggplant on one tray, and the rest of the vegetables on a second tray.
Make sure that the vegetables are spread out in a single layer, so that they roast evenly, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with oil, use ¼ cup for each tray. Check on them regularly and stir so that they cook evenly.
While your vegetables are roasting chop your herbs.
When they are golden brown and soft (approximately 30-40 minutes) take them out and squeeze the juice of half a lemon on each tray. Doing it when they are hot allows the lemony flavour to be easily absorbed by the vegetables – yum!
DICE PATTYPAN SQUASH
DICE RED CAPSICUM
DICE RED ONION
CHOP HERBS WHILE VEG IS ROASTING
PLACE DICED EGGPLANT ON A LINED BAKING TRAY SEASON AND ADD OIL
PLACE REMAINING VEG IN A SEPARATE TRAY, SEASON AND ADD OIL
ROAST UNTIL GOLDEN BROWN AND SOFT
ADD LEMON JUICE WHILE THE VEG IS STILL HOT
3Putting your burgul salad together…
After your burgul has been soaking for 30 minutes, fluff it up with a fork.
Add the ¼ cup oil and ⅓ cup lemon juice to your burgul and season, this will allow the burgul to soak up the flavours.
In a large mixing bowl, add your burgul, your roasted diced vegetables, your chopped herbs, then season generously with salt and pepper and mix until well combined.
Taste and adjust seasonings according to your taste.
Arrange your burgul salad in a bowl, serve and enjoy immediately or if you have the time allow the flavours to develop for ½ an hour or so.
PLACE INGREDIENTS IN A LARGE MIXING BOWL
MIX UNTIL WELL COMBINED
Tips for making burgul salad
- Do not wash or rinse burgul as this will make it soggy.
- Make sure that you use twice the amount of liquid as burgul. No more as it will become soggy, no less as it will not become tender but remain hard.
- Bulgur continues to swell if moisture is present, it more than doubles in volume, so make sure to use a large enough bowl.
- You can also make your burgul on the stovetop if you do not have the time to let it soak, just place your burgul in a small saucepan add 2-3 cups of water add a pinch of salt, then bring to a boil, simmer and cook until tender approximately 10-12 minutes.
- Prepared bulgur can be refrigerated or frozen in containers for later use.
- Make sure that you squeeze your lemon juice on your vegetables while they are still hot so that they can absorb all that delicious lemony flavour.
- You can chop and roast your veg the day before and just assemble on the day.
- This salad is at its best if you allow the flavours to develop, I will usually make this salad the day before and leave the herbs out to add to the salad just before serving.
Food prep for this salad
This burgul salad is great to food prep for your lunches during the week and makes a great base for shredded chicken, flaked salmon, grilled halloumi or crumbled feta.
For food prep soak the bulgur, roast the veg and combine with oil then place in individual containers.
Make sure your herbs are dry before chopping as this will prevent them discolouring then just add them on the top, of the salad in your containers.
Keen to try other grain salad recipes:
For the burgul…
- 1 cup burgul wheat (approximately 180 grams)
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- Pinch of salt
For the roasted summer veg…
- 2 medium eggplants (aubergine) (approximately 750 grams)
- 2 medium green zucchini (courgettes) (approximately 350 grams)
- 4 pattypan squash (approximately 250 grams)
- 1 red capsicum (red bell pepper) (approximately 250 grams)
- 1 red onion (approximately 150 grams)
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 lemon medium
For the salad…
- 1 cup chopped mixed herbs (I used parsley, mint and basil)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup lemon juice
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 200ºC (400ºF).
- Soak 1 cup of bulgur wheat with 2 cups of boiling water, add a pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon cumin powder, stir then allow to soak for 30 minutes.
- Wash and trim all your vegetables and cut into a small dice.
- Line two large baking trays with baking paper and spread out your diced vegetables evenly, season each tray with salt and paper and drizzle with ¼ cup olive oil for each tray.
- Check on them regularly and stir so that they cook evenly. Roast until golden brown (approximately 30-40 minutes).
- Chop your herbs while your vegetables are roasting.
- Squeeze half a lemon on each tray while the vegetables are still hot.
- Fluff your burgul with a fork after 30 minutes soaking.
- Add the ¼ cup oil and ⅓ cup lemon juice to your burgul and season, this will allow the burgul to soak up the flavours.
- In a large mixing bowl, add your burgul, your roasted diced vegetables, your chopped herbs, then season generously with salt and pepper and mix until well combined.
- Arrange in a salad bowl, serve and enjoy immediately or if you have the time allow the flavours to develop for ½ an hour or so.