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Cracked Wheat Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Cracked Wheat Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Take tender bites of cracked wheat and toss them with a medley of fresh veggies, nuts and mint – creating a simple salad with pops of color that are tangy and sweet, nutty and fresh and full of flavor.

This is a variation of tabbouleh, a Mediterranean salad that was quite popular during the 70s. The foundation of this salad is cracked wheat, also known as bulgur. It provides the perfect vessel to soak up a bright vinaigrette made from freshly squeezed lemon juice and rich extra-virgin olive oil.

Grains have once again become a popular addition to salads. Cracked wheat is worth exploring with the wonderful nuttiness it brings to the table. Stir in sweet tomatoes, crisp bell pepper, golden raisins, crunchy roasted almonds along with fresh mint and you’ve created a taste of summer goodness.

Cracked wheat is commonly sold as bulgur and can found in most food markets or online. It’s a very hard grain that needs to soak in cold water for about 45 minutes to an hour until the wheat kernel is tender.

It’s effortless and can be done a day or so ahead if you want to prep in advance. Once the wheat is tender, simply drain the water and let it hang out in the refrigerator for a day or two until you’re ready to mix up the salad.

It’s simple to make and is fabulous served at room temperature or chilled making it perfect for entertaining. It’s another great salad for warm weather dining!

Cracked Wheat Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

1 cup bulgur (cracked wheat)

1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut into small pieces

¼ cup chopped roasted almonds

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, about 12 to 15 large mint leaves

¼ cup finely chopped green bell pepper

½ cup golden raisins

For the vinaigrette

¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, about 2 lemons

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

½ teaspoon sugar

Place the bulgur in a bowl and cover with cold water, about an inch above the grain. Let it soak in the water for about 45 minutes to an hour or until it’s tender.

While the wheat soaks make the vinaigrette by whisking together the lemon juice with the olive oil. Season with the kosher salt, black pepper and sugar.

Once the wheat is tender drain the water using a sieve to catch the grain. Place the soaked wheat in a large bowl.

Add the tomatoes, the chopped almonds, mint, bell pepper and golden raisins.

Pour the lemon vinaigrette over the salad and toss to blend together. Check for seasoning, adding more kosher salt or pepper if needed.

Serve at room temperature or chilled, plain or on a bed of lettuce.

To roast whole almonds:

Spread the almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and roast in a 350-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

Stir occasionally and check the nuts after 15 minutes – you want them crunchy. They will continue to roast and crisp up a bit from residual heat.

Roast for 18 to 20 minutes for a dark roasted almond.

Serves 6 to 8.

Cracked Wheat Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

June 3, 2019
: Serves 6 to 8.

Take tender bites of cracked wheat and toss them with a medley of fresh veggies, nuts and mint – creating a simple salad with pops of color that are tangy and sweet, nutty and fresh and full of flavor.

By:

Ingredients
  • 1 cup bulgur (cracked wheat)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut into small pieces
  • ¼ cup chopped roasted almonds*
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, about 12 to 15 large mint leaves
  • ¼ cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • For the vinaigrette
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, about 2 lemons
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
Directions
  • Step 1 Place the bulgur in a bowl and cover with cold water, about an inch above the grain. Let it soak in the water for about 45 minutes to an hour or until it’s tender.
  • Step 2 While the wheat soaks make the vinaigrette by whisking together the lemon juice with the olive oil. Season with the kosher salt, black pepper and sugar.
  • Step 3 Once the wheat is tender drain the water using a sieve to catch the grain. Place the soaked wheat in a large bowl.
  • Step 4 Add the tomatoes, the chopped almonds, mint, bell pepper and golden raisins.
  • Step 5 Pour the lemon vinaigrette over the salad and toss to blend together. Check for seasoning, adding more kosher salt or pepper if needed.
  • Step 6 Serve at room temperature or chilled, plain or on a bed of lettuce.
  • Step 7 *To roast whole almonds:
  • Step 8 Spread the almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and roast in a 350-degree oven for 15 to 18 minutes, 18 to 20 if you want a dark roasted nut. Stir occasionally and check the nuts after 15 minutes – you want them crunchy. They will continue to roast and crisp up a bit from residual heat.


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