While Michael was preparing our not-so-Halal 7-Spice pork chops last night (our Lebanese take on "shake and bake"), I put together the following side dish. It's great for many reasons: it's simple, healthful, delicious, and functions as a salad and a starch. It's akin to a tabbouleh, only without tabbouleh's obscene quantity of parsley.
Popular in Turkish, middle-eastern, Mediterranean and Indian cooking, bulgur is now readily available in American groceries. It is a tiny pasta that has been par-boiled and dried. Because of its size and the fact that it's been cooked already, it's very easy to prepare. Most popular bulgurs have been debranned, but one can find whole-grain varieties as well. We used a bag from Lebanon which Michael's friend Rudy had included in the care package Michael received yesterday.
Bulgur Salad-1 cup bulgar
-3 cups water or broth
-2 lemons, juiced
-1 small red onion
-3 Roma tomatoes
-6 oz. feta cheese
-3 Tbsp. mint, finely chopped
-salt and pepper to taste
Bring 3 cups water or broth to a boil and remove from heat. Add 1/2 of your lemon juice to the water or broth and soak the bulgur in this liquid for 30 minutes. Afterward, strain out any excess liquid and chill the bulgur.
While the bulgur is chilling, dice onion into 1/4" pieces. Seed cucumber and dice it into 1/4" pieces. Core tomatoes and dice them into 1/4" pieces. Dice feta into 1/4" pieces.
Combine the onion, cucumber, tomato, feta and mint. Fluff the chilled bulgar with a fork and then fold it gently into the diced vegetables. Season to taste and drizzle with remaining lemon juice. Serve and enjoy.