This is one of my favorite salads to make in summer time when green beans and cherry tomatoes are available. It also features bulgur, a pre-cooked grain with a sweet, nutty flavor that’s loaded with fiber and nutrition. And it’s quick and easy to make, with a light and healthy vinaigrette dressing. With all that going for it, no wonder my wife and I enjoy it so much!
Bulgur is a staple in Middle Eastern cooking, where it finds its way into classic dishes like Tabbouleh and Kibbeh. Bulgur is made from whole grain wheat berries that are parboiled, dried, ground, and then sifted into various sizes. It is not the same as cracked wheat, which has not been cooked. Since bulgur is precooked, it only needs soaking in liquid to reconstitute it. It makes a good substitute for rice in pilafs and other dishes.
Many of the necessary ingredients for this salad come from the well-stocked pantry. And any kind of small fruited tomato will work in this recipe. I often use a mix of cherry and grape types when we have a variety of garden-fresh ones. The beans are best briefly cooked, and left crisp tender.
2 Tbs salad oil (walnut or olive)
2 Tbs rice vinegar
1 Tbs water
1 Tbs honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup uncooked bulgur
3/4 cup boiling water
3/4 lb diagonally cut green beans (about 3 cups)
1 1-2 cups halved cherry or grape tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup walnut pieces
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until well blended.
2. Place bulgur in a large bowl and pour 3/4 cup boiling water over it. Let stand 15-20 minutes. Drain any excess water.
3. Steam green beans for about 5 minutes, until they are tender but still crisp. Rinse in cold water to stop them cooking. Drain and add beans to bulgur. Add tomatoes, parsley, walnuts, onion, and oil mixture. Toss gently to combine. Serve at room temperature, or cover and chill. Refrigerate any leftovers.
Nutrition (per serving): 166 calories, 69 calories from fat, 8.3g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 216.8mg sodium, 348.6mg potassium, 23.4g carbohydrates, 6.1g fiber, 2g sugar, 4.4g protein, 42.1mg calcium, <1g saturated fat.