Recipe Corner: Fresh Spinach, Bacon and Bulgur Salad


bacon-heartBy Christine Vartanian Datian

 

Fresh Spinach, Bacon and Bulgur Salad

2 cups medium bulgur (#2 or #3) found at Middle Eastern markets

4 cups low sodium chicken broth or water

1 medium bunch spinach, washed and torn in pieces

8 slices bacon or turkey bacon, cooked, drained, and crumbled

1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half

1 cup green onions or scallions, chopped

1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

1/2 cup green or yellow bell pepper, chopped

1/2 cup garbanzo beans, washed and drained

Juice of 2 large lemons

1/4 cup olive oil, more to taste

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

1/4 cup roasted red peppers, diced

1/4 cup cucumber, seeded and diced

1/4 cup red onion, diced

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon grated lemon peel

 

Kosher or sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, ground cumin, paprika, and Aleppo pepper to taste

Kalamata or black olives and Greek yogurt or sour cream as garnish

 

Serves 6.

 

Preparation:

 

Cook the bacon in a small pan until crispy, drain, and set aside.

 

In a large pot, bring the chicken broth or water plus one tablespoon of olive oil and one teaspoon of Kosher or sea salt to a full boil; add the bulgur, stir for a minute, reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook for 20 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.  Remove pan from the heat and let set for 8-10 minutes.  (You can prepare the bulgur for this recipe the day before and chill overnight, if desired.)

 

Spoon the bulgur into a large serving dish; top with the spinach, crumbled bacon, tomatoes, green onions, parsley, bell pepper, and garbanzo beans.  Toss with lemon juice and olive oil, and add the fresh mint, roasted red peppers, cucumber, red onion, Worcestershire sauce, grated lemon peel, and the seasonings to taste.  Toss again, adding more lemon juice or olive oil, if desired.

 

Arrange salad on serving plates, garnish with paprika and Kalamata or black olives, and top with some Greek yogurt or sour cream.  Serve with toasted pita bread, garlic bread, flat bread, or Middle Eastern cracker bread and fresh Romaine lettuce leaves to scoop up the salad, if desired.

 

*Christine’s recipes have been published in the Fresno Bee, Sunset and Cooking Light Magazines, and athttp://www.thearmeniankitchen.com/

*For Christine’s recipes that have been published in Sunset and Cooking Light Magazines, go to: http://www.myrecipes.com/search/site/Datian