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Bulgur Salad with Wilted Chard and Green Olives

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Serves six to eight.

Yields about six cups.

  • Make the menu:
    Splendor in the Grass
  • by Tasha DeSerio from Fine Cooking
    Issue 99

A hearty grain salad that's good cool or at room temperature is a perfect addition to a picnic. Be sure to use good-quality olives and rinse them well before you remove the pits, or the salad will be too salty.

  • 1-1/2 cups medium bulgur
  • Kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 lb. green Swiss chard (about 1 large or 2 small bunches), stemmed
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 to 2 lemons)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced and mashed to a paste with a pinch of salt
  • 1 large shallot, finely diced
  • 1/2 lb. whole green olives, such as picholines, rinsed well in warm water, pitted, and very coarsely chopped (1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Put the bulgur and 1 tsp. salt in a large bowl. Add 2-1/4 cups of the boiling water and cover the bowl. Let sit until the water has been absorbed and the bulgur is tender, about 1 hour

Add 1 Tbs. salt to the remaining boiling water, add the chard, and cook until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the chard and run under cold water to cool. Thoroughly squeeze the chard to remove the excess liquid and chop to the same size as the chopped herbs. Lightly toss the chard so it doesn’t remain in clumps when combined with the bulgur.

Combine the lemon juice, garlic, and shallot and let sit for at least 15 minutes.

Gently fold the lemon juice mixture, chard, olives, cilantro, parsley, and olive oil into the bulgur. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Make Ahead Tips

The salad may be made a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Taste and adjust the seasoning before serving.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 270; Fat (g): 18; Fat Calories (kcal): 160; Saturated Fat (g): 2.5; Protein (g): 5; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 13; Carbohydrates (g): 25; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): 850; Cholesterol (mg): 0; Fiber (g): 7;

Photo: Scott Phillips

I have made this several times. It is very good and nice change of pace. I even made the recipe 6 times for a party of 50 (part of a buffet). Very well received.

Loved this recipe, picked chard, parsley and cilantro from the garden. Used Bob's Red Mill bulgur so the cooking time and the appearance of the final dish was a little different from the original recipe. Tastes even better the next day, would definitely recommend and will make again.

I used 1 cup of quinoa instead. I made sure I really rinsed the olives to keep the salt down. This was a huge hit. Healthy & tastes great. Do it the night before as it takes some prep time & also taste better the next day.

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