We love hearty soups, stews, and casseroles in the winter as much as anything, but sometimes it’s fun to shake it up a bit! While we do have a new video project underway to highlight our favorite winter soup, we’ve mostly been away from the soup pot, preferring things like winter salads and ethnic-inspired quesadillas instead.
This recipe is another venture away from the traditional winter comfort food, inspired by the highlight of London-based chef Yottam Ottolenghi in this month’s issue of Bon Appetit. We love idea of the play between sweet currants, tangy lemon, salty pistachios, and the bite of the fresh herbs. We added chickpeas to make for a more filling vegetarian dish, and paired it with some spiced roasted cauliflower (recipe to come).
The pair of the salad and cauliflower was perfect – an array of tastes and textures that left us craving more! We loved the Mediterranean flair in the midst of winter (and lucky for us, we can access local fresh herbs at the Winter Market!).
This meal made a wonderful compliment to an evening with some of our dearest friends – it would also make for a great lunch option to bring to work (the leftovers save well).
Thanks to Aspire Indiana Farms for the parsley!
For more, check out Yottam Ottolenghi’s new cookbook, Plenty.
Other options for Mediterranean-style winter eating:
Tuscan Raw Kale Salad
Roasted Broccoli and Sundried Tomato Penne
Sundried Tomato and Artichoke Capellini
Mediterranean Bulgur and Chickpea Salad
Inspired by Yottam Ottolenghi
Pair with Spiced Cauliflower (recipe TBD), if desired
What You Need
2 cups bulgur wheat
1/2 medium red onion
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 cup currants or raisins
1/2 cup pistachios
1 15 ounce can chickpeas (or 1 1/2 cups cooked)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
Greek yogurt to serve, if desired
What To Do
1 Boil 2 cups of water. In a medium bowl or sealable container, place 2 cups bulgur wheat and 2 cups boiling water. Cover for about 30 to 40 minutes, until water is absorbed and grain is tender. (You also can boil the bulgur, but make sure to leave time for it to cool after boiling. You can spread the bulgur out in a thin layer on a cookie sheet after boiling to speed up the cooling process.)
2 Meanwhile, thinly slice 1/2 red onion. Chop 1/2 cup fresh parsley and 1/2 cup fresh cilantro. Crush the pistachios (you can place them in a handkerchief or plastic bag and pound with a rolling pin or other heavy item). Zest the lemon (or both lemons). Drain and rinse the chickpeas (if canned).
3 When the bulgur is ready, in a large bowl, combine bulgur, red onion, parsley, cilantro, chickpeas, 1 cup currants (or raisins), lemon zest, juice from 1 lemon, 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, 3/4 tablespoon kosher salt, and plenty of fresh ground pepper. Taste, and add more lemon juice as necessary (we added juice from 1 1/2 lemons total).
4 To serve, garnish with pistachios, or stir them in to the salad. (We generally garnish with nuts instead of stirring them in, since they tend to become soggy in any leftovers.) Serve with Greek yogurt and spiced cauliflower, if desired.