You know I love all things pesto. So you would probably think that I’ve tried pesto in just about every combination possible. After all, I’ve used Asparagus in pesto and topped Roasted Vegetables with pesto, and I’ve even gone so far as to stuff portabella mushrooms with Pesto Mashed Potatoes. But in all my playing with pesto, I never thought to combine it with bulgur wheat until now.
I was making hummus for dinner one night recently, and I would have liked to serve it with tabouli. I had the bulgur but no parsley. I thought of my garden and its one parsley plant that had already bolted, and then my thoughts jumped to the 6 or more basil plants that are still thriving. That’s when the idea hit me. It wouldn’t really be tabouli without parsley, but anything with basil and garlic was bound to be good.
And it was more than good: It was the stuff cravings are made of. Every little grain of bulgur seemed saturated with basily pesto goodness, and it went surprisingly well with hummus. I think I could eat this stuff every day and not get tired of it.
Basil and Bulgar Salad (aka Pesto Tabouli)
- 1 cup fine bulgur (cracked wheat)
- 1 1/2 cups fat-free vegetable broth or water
- 2 tbsp. chopped walnuts
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 2 cloves garlic
- juice of one lemon
- salt, to taste
- 1 large or 2 medium tomatoes, diced
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced
- 1 tbsp. olive oil (optional)
- Bring the vegetable broth to a boil and add the bulgur. Remove from the heat and cover. Let it stand about 20 minutes until wheat is tender and water is absorbed.
- Place the walnuts into the food processor and puree. And the basil, garlic, and half of the lemon juice, and process until a coarse paste is formed. Add salt to taste.
- Combine the bulgur with the pesto, tomatoes, and cucumber, and toss well. Season to taste with the remaining lemon juice and olive oil (if desired). Serve at room temperature or chilled, garnished with additional basil.
- This can very easily be made into a main dish salad by adding chickpeas or white beans to the bulgar. Serve with a green salad for a terrific light meal.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Cooking time: 20 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4
Makes 4 servings. Each serving (including olive oil) contains 196 Calories (kcal); 6g Total Fat; (26% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 33g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 11mg Sodium; 8g Fiber.
Without olive oil, each serving contains 166 Calories (kcal); 3g Total Fat; (14% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 33g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 11mg Sodium; 8g Fiber.