Thursday, 19 September 2019

Burghul/Bulgur Salad With Blueberries And Lemons

Burghul, bulgur or bourghoul?  Depends whether you're Turkish or Persian or Lebanese.  Whatever you call it, it's been around for a long time, and is still a popular grain in many cultures.  I remember as a young, greenie, vego Uni. student eating a lot of this stuff!  Along with other weird and wonderful things; how could I forget buckwheat porridge, which looked like brown glue and tasted just the same? :-)  Or endless soy beans and seaweed, and yoghurt and potatoes (not together).  Ah, the memories...  

fresh and zingy

Here we have a recipe from plum gorgeous, by Romney Steele, an American artist, writer and cook.  She spent a year living in a mountaintop orchard, which inspired the seasonal, fruity recipes in her book.  Since we're having very warm weather already (it's only the second week of Spring!), a fruit-laden salad appealed to me.  This book has lovely photos, and over sixty homey recipes, using simple and fresh ingredients.  The methods are (mostly) uncomplicated, the recipes full of flavour; this is a book to appeal to many a home cook.

Serves 4-6:


160g. (1 cup) burghul wheat

a large pinch of salt - maybe 1/8 of a tsp?

240 mLs (1 scant cup) boiling water or vegetable stock

1/2 small red onion, finely chopped

130g. (3/4 cup) of fresh corn kernels 

1 Continental cucumber, diced

150g. (1 cup) fresh blueberries

40g. (1/4 cup dried blueberries), softened in just-boiled water for five minutes

50g. (1/3 cup) pine nuts, lightly toasted in a small, dry frypan

1 bunch parsley or fresh coriander leaves, chopped

handful of fresh mint or chives, chopped finely

3-4 tbs lemon juice

2-3 pieces of preserved lemon, chopped finely - just the skin, flesh discarded

3 tbs extra virgin olive oil

sea salt to taste - maybe 1/2 tsp

black pepper to taste - a dozen grinds of the mill perhaps?


Place the burghul and salt in a medium bowl

Pour the boiling water over, stir, cover and let sit for 15-20 minutes

Then drain any excess liquid, and fluff up with a fork

While you wait for the burghul to 'cook', mix the onion, corn, cucumber, blueberries, pine nuts and herbs in a large mixing bowl

Now stir in the burghul, and the amount of lemon juice you fancy

Then in go the preserved lemon and olive oil

Season with salt and pepper

Adjust the lemon juice, salt and pepper to your taste

If you fancy, serve with a protein like chicken or fish


Try quinoa or couscous if you don't have burghul

Blanch the corn kernels for a few minutes then refresh under cold water if you like your corn a little less crunchy

Use frozen corn kernels if you can't be bothered taking them off a cob - but you'll need to sit them in boiling water for a few minutes to defrost them

If you prefer, choose two small cucumbers of whatever sort you fancy

Use a different dried fruit if you don't have blueberries - cranberries perhaps?

This is a great side, but you could eat it happily as a main

I served this with baked buttermilk panko chicken

ingredients gathered

looks delicious already

tossed and ready to eat

panko chicken to go with ...

knobs of panko chicken on top of this fruity salad = yum!

To be honest, Mr P. and I prefer couscous so when I make it next time, that's what I'll use.  I bought the burghul from a bulk store; maybe it had been sitting in its plastic (!?!) tub for way too long :-)  Anyways, this was a really tasty and fresh salad, and you could feel it doing you good as you masticated.  And I felt very virtuous using up some frozen buttermilk that was lurking in the depths of the freezer.  A delicious and surprisingly hearty dish, my friends.

artwork © Sherry's Pickings


  1. It's been ages since I've used bulgur in a dish. You're reminding me that's it's time again -- this looks really good. And although we're into fall, it's still quite warm here, so we're still eating loads of salads. This is nice -- thanks.

  2. What a great combo of flavours! Definitely a keeper. I am drooling, Sherry.

  3. Mrs P is a bit clever you might say. Rather a good set of dishes. Yes to couscous next time. The blueberries are a great ingredient in a salad. Texture is a great counterpoint to the rest. The chicken was rather good.

  4. Sounds like a great cookbook. I like eating that sort of food day to day.

    1. yes it is an interesting cookbook lorraine. lots of fruity recipes!

  5. I do enjoy a good bulgur salad...that spelling must make me Persian. :-) The fruit is a fun addition here, although I do have to agree with you that couscous would be a nice base for this salad. This sounds perfect for the Spring weather that must be coming your way right about now!

    1. yep Spring has sprung already. not that warm weather ever goes away much here in brisbane. yep i think i prefer couscous too, to be honest. cheers S

  6. Love this, Sherry! I would never have thought to use blueberries but they make such a wonderful addition to savory dishes. Definitely one to save for blueberry season!

    1. hi david
      yes it's worth a go! tho i might try it with couscous and other fruits - maybe even grapes :-)

  7. Hi Sherry, this sounds like an interesting salad. I enjoy both bulgar wheat and couscous (sadly the family don't feel the same, but that doesn't stop me!). I'll give this ago, but will have to use cranberries instead of blueberries (unless I'm prepared to sell a kidney or two - they are expensive and hard to find and that's only for dried ones!).


    1. i'd never had dried blueberries before buying them for this salad. i think i like other dried fruits more... like barberries.

  8. I'm not really a fan of fruit in salads but this one looks pretty delicious. I'm thinking this would go down a treat at our next volunteer lunch at the Asylum Seekers Centre. So easy to make and yummy too!

    1. hi sammie
      you work with lorraine there don't you? such a good cause. actually i think another fruit would suit me better in this too!

  9. What a great salad - I would probably go for another grain than bulgar too - we used to have it more as students but rarely have it now - I prefer it in a casserole than a salad. But I love all the bits of goodness in the salad

    1. hi johanna
      yes we ate it as students but not since! funny that. we do prefer couscous now.

  10. What an interesting salad. I do not use bulgur much but I love what you did with it! And so pretty!

    1. hi abbe
      yes i haven't used bulgur in many a long year. it was okay but i'll stick to couscous:)

  11. Now that is a nice combination of flavors...thanks for a delicious recipe.

  12. Sherry, what a lovely salad! Love all the flavors in it! Ahhh so lucky that you're into spring!

    1. yes spring is really here kelly. and a long hot summer coming along fast. thanks for dropping by. cheers S


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