I cannot get enough of this salad! Basically, it's tabbouli, the Middle Eastern grain salad with fresh herbs and tomatoes, but with other stuff subbed in for the tomatoes, like Swiss chard and olives. Lots of parsley and cilantro combined with a generous shot of lemon keep the flavors bright. It's good for picnics, barbecues, or hasty lunches out of a Tupperware container at work. Next week, consider switching out the chard and olives for grilled zucchini, pattypan squash, and dare I hope for eggplant? Too soon? Only the hot July sun knows for sure. Then, in August and September, it's tomato time. Wait your turn, tomatoes. You're not the only game in town!
Bulgur Salad with Chard and Olives (print-friendly version)
This recipe makes a lot, at least 8 servings, so I hope you're hungry!
1 1/2 cups medium bulgur wheat
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed, sliced into thick strips
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 to 2 lemons)
2 medium cloves garlic, minced and mashed to a paste with a pinch of salt
1 large shallot or small onion, finely diced
1/2 cup mixed country olives, pitted, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Combine the bulgur wheat and 1 teaspoon of salt in a large bowl. Bring 2 1/4 cups of water to a boil and then pour over the wheat. Cover the bowl with a large plate and let set until the water has been absorbed and the bulgur is tender, about 1 hour.
Wash the chard and place it wet into the pot. Cover and steam over medium heat until wilted and tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the chard, run it under cold water, and squeeze it dry.
Combine the lemon juice, garlic, and shallot, and let sit for at least 15 minutes.
Gently fold the olives, cilantro, parsley, oil, Swiss chard, and lemon mixture into the bulgur. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until cold.
Source: Adapted from Fine Cooking and Tasha DeSerio.