A Vegetarian Salad with Greek Flare
This vegetarian dish is the heart of my aphrodisiac plan for a romantic Greek-inspired dinner for two. The meal is an homage to Eros, God of Love. And it’s a light, vegetarian affair filled with traditional Greek flavors. This Minted Bulghar Salad offers big flavor without meat. It’s made with bulghar wheat, (also called bulgar), which is a protein-rich whole grain.
What is Bulghar?
Although it isn’t used frequently in American cuisine, bulghar wheat is used frequently in Middle Eastern cooking. It’s made from dried, cracked wheat and, when cooked, has a consistency that’s like a cross between quinoa and barley. A whole grain, it happens to be rich not only in fiber but also manganese, a nutrient vital to sexual health. And a one-cup serving offers about six grams of protein.
If you’re interested in finding uses for this grain beyond a bulghar salad, it can be used in place of other grains like brown rice or couscous. And you’d actually be doing your body a favor by using it as a substitute for either of these grains. Deceptively nutrition-dense, bulghar has less calories and more protein per serving than either of these alternatives.
I flavor this bulghar salad with salty feta, the crunch of pine nuts and a sprinkling of aphrodisiac mint. Of course, if you miss the meat, you can always top the salad with sliced, grilled chicken breast or even a little steak. But then it’s no longer a light meal!
As I mentioned earlier, I created this dish as part of a whole menu inspired by the Greek God of Love. Get into the spirit with my Eros-themed plan.
Cookbook author Diane Brown recommends this salad as the centerpiece of a vegetarian, Greek-themed dinner. It offers the nutrition of bulghar with the salty flavor of feta, crunch of pine nuts and the bold flavor of mint.
- ½ cup medium grain bulgur
- 1 ¼ cups water
- 3 Roma tomatoes seeded and diced
- ¼ cup green onions chopped white and some of the green, about 2 green onions
- ¼ cup loosely packed roughly chopped mint leaves
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp minced garlic
- Pinch kosher salt
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Bring water to a boil, pour in bulgur, stir, cover, and turn off heat. Let stand 20 to 25 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed and bulgur is fluffy and tender. Pour off any remaining liquid.
- Prepare dressing: in a small non-reactive bowl, whisk together lemon juice, garlic, salt and oil. Taste and adjust seasonings. In a large salad bowl, toss together tomatoes, green onions and mint. Add bulgur.
- Pour dressing over salad, toss to combine. Top with feta and pine nuts. Serve.
- Arrange all three salads on a platter and serve with pita bread.
If you enjoy this bulghar salad recipe, be sure to check out the rest of this Greek Love-themed romantic menu:
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