Recipe ReDux: Minty Bulgur Salad with Peaches and Sweet Peas
Funk and I live in a ground level apartment, so for the most part, it stays pretty cool. In fact, last summer we somehow made it without ever installing our air conditioner. This year, we installed it in the living room, which is a long ways away from our kitchen (we have a very long apartment!). So while the AC cuts the humidity at one end of the apartment, it hardly reaches the kitchen at the other end. That means that when it comes to summer cooking, I prefer to eat without the heat. Most of my cooking is done stovetop anyway, but sometimes even that is too hot in a steamy kitchen. So I was totally on board for this month’s Recipe ReDux theme to create a no-cook recipe.
While salads and slaws are great typical no-cook summer staples, sometimes you just want a meal with a little more oomph. That’s when I turn to bulgur, to make a grain salad. Bulgur is a hearty whole grain made from hard red wheat that has been parboiled, dried and ground. Most people like it because it takes no time to cook, but I like it because I literally don’t cook it. If you soak bulgur overnight in an equal parts barley and water, you’ll be left with a softened grain that has absorbed all of the water and has a nutty taste like quinoa that is ready to eat! I used bulgur in this farmers’ market inspired salad with peaches and sugar snap peas I picked up from my local market, and fresh mint I snagged from the garden at work.
1.5 cups dry bulgur and 1.5 cups water, soaked overnight
4 peaches, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 lb sugar snap peas, chopped
1 bunch fresh mint, minced
fruity vinegar (I used a raspberry vinegar)
1 tsp salt
Raw cashews, optional
Prepare the bulgur the night before by soaking it in equal parts water in a closed container. The next day, transfer to a large bowl and fluff with a fork. Mix in the mint, peaches and sugar snap peas. Flavor with salt and a few glugs of olive oil and vinegar to taste. I don’t have measurements because I just drizzle and taste, drizzle and taste until I get it where I like it. Garnish with crushed raw cashews.
There were so many flavors and textures in this simple salad: soft and sweet peaches, nutty and coarse bulgur, fresh crisp peas, and crunchy cashews. On the second day of eating this salad, I tossed in some diced baked tofu, which added a nice savory flavor and made this more of a main dish.
Despite my love for no-cook recipes, Funk really dislikes cold salads (unless they’re veggie based). Anytime I make a pasta or grain salad, he wants it heated up. Same goes for cold soups. So after the first night when he popped the cold salad right into the microwave (yeeech), I took his portion the second night and stir fried it a bit in an oiled skillet like you’d do with fried rice, which he loved. So, I guess there was some cooking involved after all!
Here are some other no-cook recipes I’ve done in the past as well as other ReDuxer’s recipes to get you through the summer heat, whether or not you have an air conditioned home!