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How to cook the ultimate bulgur salad

Bulgur salad is a quick and healthy meal to make for a replica Bulgari emerald rings summer treat (Picture: Oli Jones)

Chloe Scott tests top recipes to cook the ultimate bulgur salad.

Forget peculiarly pink taramasalata, flaccid sarnies and floppy green salad. If you're getting bored of packed lunches and picnics, try bulgur (or bulgar) wheat. It's speedy to cook and inexpensive and it's surprisingly suitable for busy modern life. While it's not gluten free, it's naturally high in fibre and low in fat and calories. And on top of all that, it tastes good.

So what exactly is it? Athens born Theodore Kyriakou explains in his book, A Culinary Voyage Around The Greek Islands (Quadrille): 'In Crete, bulgur or pourgouri as it is known in Greece is widely used. Traditionally, the grain is parboiled, then dried, usually by spreading it in the sun, and then debranned. And that it's got crunch, squidge and oomph'.

Citrus is a key player in my ensemble today. Kyriakou uses orange juice for his bulgur wheat salad with seasonal fruits and cinnamon, while Irish cookery school founder Darina Allen puts orange zest in the 'bulgur wheat and pecan nut salad' from her Ballymaloe Cookery Course (Kyle Cathie). I make both and while the zest adds a more sophisticated bitterness, the wheat drenched in sweet ripe juice evokes Greek islands and holidays. I'll shack up with both.

Dried fruits are a recurring feature in these salads. Raisins are mentioned by Allen and Kyriakou merits replica Bvlgari B.Zero1 jewelry 'fat sultanas'. Although sultanas are plumper and sweeter, I find the raisins more robust and less soggy. But on trying Butcher's recipe 'spinach, apricot and bulgur wheat salad', I find the sweet sourness of dried apricots more appropriate for a savoury salad so the other two are out.

Another consideration for the ultimate bulgur salad is fresh fruit. Kyriakou's salad recommends 'pomegranate or any other seasonal fruit'. Matching my dried apricot is the creamy floral peach, which also hobnobs well with rose, a sublime summer flavour.

Bulgur pilafs are a good place to look for inspiration today. In Allegra McEvedy's Turkish Delights recipe, she favours hazelnuts and walnuts, but it's Allen's pecans that stand out for their buttery crunch.

Fresh mint is the mainstay. Others suggest every herb under the Mediterranean sun oregano, basil, parsley and on it goes. McEvedy's salad is leaping with tomatoes and cucumber but with the apricots, nuts and onions, it's too much a perfect salad should not be overly cluttered.

Most simmer bulgur in water but it's common practice for chefs to use chicken stock. I may sound grouchy but once you've used stock, I'm not sure why anyone would suggest water, which leaves the wheat mildly insipid.

Flavour obsessed Butcher goes one step further. She scatters wheat on an oven tray with apple juice and stock over it and bakes at replica Bulgari Serpenti jewelery 140C until it swells to 'about twice its bulk'. It's a good idea but on eating I find the stock is enough. She finishes with grated carrots and lime, a sharp, strong and spicy component.

Step 1Put the bulgur wheat into a pan. Pour over the chicken stock. Simmer for 2 5min on the hob, then turn off the heat and leave to steam with a lid on for 20min.

Step 2Grate the orange zest finely and set aside. Add the orange and lime juice, olive oil and spices to the bulgur. Leave the Bvlgari ring replica bulgur for another 20 min to absorb all the juices.

Step 3Meanwhile, pour 1tbsp olive oil into a saucepan and sizzle the pecans gently. Add the remaining ingredients, except the orange zest and pecans, to the bulgur salad. Stir the salad well. Taste it and season with salt and pepper accordingly.

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By PKKOO5
Added Aug 24

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