I love grain salads for lunch – they’re hearty and healthful, and when you use bulgar as the base for your salad, it’s quick and easy to prepare. This week’s Bulgar and Orange Salad is a nice lunch at work or addition to your next picnic or potluck.
Bulgar is one of the simplest grains to cook. In fact, there’s actually no cooking involved. You simply place the bulgar into a bowl, cover it with boiling water and cover with a plate or foil. After 10 minutes, it’s softened and ready to use in the salad. If all the liquid hasn’t absorbed, drain the bulgar to remove the excess water.
You can find bulgar in the bulk bins at Earth Fare or in boxes near the other grains at local supermarkets. Although there are many packaged bulgar mixes that include a packet of herbs and spices, you want plain bulgar for this recipe.
The bulgar is dressed with a combination of honey mustard dressing, orange zest and juice. A combination of cumin, cinnamon and fresh mint gives the salad unique flavor.
The remaining ingredients are canned mandarin oranges, crumbled feta or goat cheese, and salted cashews. Pitted kalamata olives add saltiness, and diced avocado could replace the cheese.
If you’re packing this for lunch, it is best to pack the cashews in a separate container or plastic bag and stir them in just before serving so they’ll stay crunchy.
BULGAR AND ORANGE SALAD
1½ cups medium or coarse bulgar
1½ cups boiling water
Zest and juice of 1 large orange, about 1 tablespoon zest and ½ cup juice
½ cup honey mustard salad dressing
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
2-3 green onions, chopped, to taste
1 15-ounce can mandarin oranges packed in juice, drained
1 4-ounce package reduced-fat crumbled feta or goat cheese
1/3 cup roasted, lightly salted cashew pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Place bulgar in a medium bowl and pour the boiling water over the top.
Cover bowl with a plate and set aside for 10 minutes, until the bulgar is softened. Drain and set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together orange juice, honey mustard, cumin, cinnamon, mint and green onions.
Fold in the bulgar, oranges and feta or goat cheese and stir until all ingredients are coated with the dressing.
Chill until ready to serve. Stir in the cashews just before serving.
Makes 6 servings.