With temperatures hovering near 90 degrees, it was one of those weekends where I wanted something cold for dinner – By Sunday I was finally recovering from a nasty cold when chicken broth and cream of mushroom soup had been my dinner choices.
But the fog was starting to clear and my appetite was back to normal. Opening the refrigerator to figure out what to eat, I realized I needed to make some headway on those chickpeas picked up at Costco a week ago. I had already split the enormous can with a friend but still had enough left to serve fifty people. OK, so maybe it was only 25. But still.
Through my days of bed rest, reading food blogs was one way I kept busy. A dish of bulgur chickpea salad on Nirvana’s Kitchen’s blog caught my eye but I wanted to add more ingredients to use up other things I had in the fridge. No need to go to the store, not even for the lemon balm growing in my herb garden. It’s a totally optional ingredient but if you have it, you’ll get more of a lemony zing in the salad.
Feel free to change the quantities to your liking – use more parsley, more scallions, more garlic, or less of any of the major ingredients. I held back on adding too much salt, thinking the feta would make it salty enough. But I found that it needed more than I originally expected. Just keep tasting till you have what you like.
By the way, it’s good right away, but it tastes a lot better after it sits in the refrigerator for a few hours. It’s delicious and nourishing all by itself, but we fired up the grill and served it with shrimp on the barbie.
Bulgur Chickpea Salad
Makes enough for eight side servings
2 cups bulgur
5 cups water
2 cups chickpeas
6 scallions, sliced, including a bit of the green part
a handful of Italian flat parsley (about 1/2 cup after mincing)
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
lemon balm, optional, minced
fresh minced oregano (use dried if you can’t find it)
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 cup feta cheese, cut into chunks
juice of two lemons
1/2 cup olive oil
salt, pepper to taste
Bring the water to a boil and pour over the bulgur. Cover and let sit for 1/2 hour. Drain any water that remains. Into a bowl, place the bulgur and all the other ingredients except the dressing. For the dressing, squeeze the lemons into a jar or container and add the olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Shake or whisk, then pour over salad and mix thoroughly.