Beautiful Bulgur

July 6, 2009 at 11:30 pm Leave a comment

 tabbouleh 001  I am exceptionally fond of whole grains.  Their full-bodied nutty flavor and complex texture squelch hunger pangs with notable efficiency, and they are a great source of dietary fiber, important B vitamins, (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate), and minerals (iron, magnesium, and selenium).  I do now ask myself how I ever ate that gummy white fluff that was so popular in the fifties and sixties, and why the national burger chains seem so committed to offering only those airy white buns when they have shown enlightenment in other menu areas.

When I got a craving for something substantial yet cool and light the other day, I settled on a lunch of Pan-Glazed Salmon Fillet, Tabbouleh Salad, and a simple finisher of a Ripe, Juicy Pear served with a small slab of room-temperature Gouda Cheese.  This meal fit my craving “to a t,” as the saying goes – that would be “t” for “tabbouleh,” I guess.

Early in the day, start the tabbouleh: 

2 C whole grain, quick cooking bulgur           2 cups fresh parsley, minced                ¼ C fresh mint, minced                       

4 green onions, thinly sliced                              3 med tomatoes, diced                            1 large cucumber, diced 

3 TB lemon juice                                                      1 TB olive oil                                                 black pepper to taste 

 salt to taste                                                                ¼ tsp ground cumin 

Place thebulgur in a large bowl and cover with 2 cups water; let stand at least one hour.  Gently fold in the chopped herbs and vegetables.  In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, olive oil, pepper, salt, and cumin and pour over salad.  Toss to combine and chill for at least one hour.  Enough to serve six normal appetites, three or four of mine. 

For the salmon, a super simple glaze of 2-parts hoisin sauce to 1-part lemon juice mixed well, which translates to about 2 tsp hoisin and 1 tsp lemon for a single-serving of salmon fillet.  Cook the salmon in a small nonstick pan over medium heat until one side is caramelized, about 4-5 minutes, then flip the fillet and baste the crusty side with half of the glaze.  Repeat when the second side is golden and crusty, using the rest of the glaze.  Then flip one more time to set the glaze on both sides and serve sizzling, on a bed of fresh greens if you have some on hand.

Note that this glaze works very nicely on pork chops, too.

Carve up your pear and add a glass of cold tea or iced coffee, and you’ll be carried off to whole grain nirvana.  At least I was, but then I may just be a bit more easily transported than some.

Entry filed under: Musings of a Midwestern Foodie. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .

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