Crazy But Good

September 29, 2010

Okay, okay, I know this salad recipe sounds weird but trust me, it’s yumma-riffic.  Plus, it’s one of those salads that’s awesome at room temperature, so you can make it and then focus on gathering the other components of your dinner. Unlike my children, this salad is content to be ignored for a few minutes. I think it would be a great addition to an Indian Summer buffet table. It may be late-September, (how’d we get here, anyways? Man, time’s just hauling ass) but we’re still rocking the mid-80’s, temperature-wise. Yesterday, it was actually 90-freaking-1 outside.  I’m not craving anything remotely resembling an apple yet.

If you’re in the mood to shake things up at the dinner table and don’t fear the goat cheese (I know, there are several of you out there who tremble at the mere mention), consider giving this salad a shot. It’s a stunner,  it’s good for you, it’s easy, and nectarines are still delicious (but they won’t be for long). So get moving on this one. Roast up a chicken, if you are in the mood, and serve this beauty alongside. We added a nice, cold glass of pinot grigio and called it dinner.

Cracked Wheat Salad with Nectarines, Parsley and Pistachios

adapted from Cooking Light magazine

serves 6

1 cup uncooked bulgur *

1 cup boiling water*

1 1/2 cups thinly sliced nectarines

orange juice

1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (I actually skipped the dill…not really a fan. I doubled the parsley, though)

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (yes, you need white. Use regular, and the color of your salad will be funk)

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons chopped pistachios

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine bulgur and 1 cup boiling water in a large bowl. Cover and let stand 1 hour. Uncover and fluff with a fork. Slice nectarines and toss with a little orange juice to prevent browning. Combine the olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Add nectarines, and herbs to bulgur.  Pour dressing over; toss well. Sprinkle nuts over top.

*I used wheat berries, which I had on hand from my last trip to Whole Foods. I think this salad would also be good with brown rice–any nutty tasting grain would probably do well, actually, as long as you cook the grain as per package directions.

I really enjoyed the different play of textures here–the wheat berries were slightly chewy, the goat cheese added creaminess, the nectarines and herbs added a clean freshness, and that crunch from the chopped pistachios really made things interesting.

Make sure your grain–whichever kind you choose–is cool before adding the dressing, nectarines, herbs and goat cheese–you want each element to stand out distinctly. This salad, because of the nectarines, doesn’t keep long, so it’s best eaten the same day you make it.

{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Wendi @ Bon Appetit Hon September 29, 2010 at 5:05 am

Kitch, thanks for helping to me finally understand what color funk actually is.


Futureblackmail September 29, 2010 at 5:34 am

WTH are wheat berries?!

It’s 67 degrees here – woo hoo!


SuziCate September 29, 2010 at 5:40 am

I have never cooked with wheat berries or bulgar. do they have to be purchased in a specialty store or section? It looks pretty, and if kids eat it, it must be a winner!


Michelle September 29, 2010 at 6:12 am

I’ve never had bulgur and my only wheat berry experience was lousy, so…. I’m curious to try your dish and scared of it at the same time. LOL


JennyMac September 29, 2010 at 6:12 am

Sounds fantastic!!!! Love the variety of recipes you post too.


Phoo-d September 29, 2010 at 6:30 am

Yum! This sounds terrific. I love whole grain salads. I have both wheat berries and bulgur on hand and now just need to find nectarines.


Tiffany September 29, 2010 at 6:31 am

You’re so brave with your food!! I love goat cheese. I should buy it more often!


elizabeth September 29, 2010 at 6:44 am

You and the freaky salads! I should try this with quinoa as I bet that would be good.

White balsamic vinegar is the best ever–light, tart, and a bit gentler than its darker counterpart.


Kelly September 29, 2010 at 6:46 am

This looks great. Did your kids love it? I wonder if mine would give it a chance.


Erica@PinesLakeRedhead September 29, 2010 at 7:06 am

I always wondered what to do with bulgar wheat. Kashi has a 7 grain blend that would work really good in this salad. Thanks for the idea!


Cheryl @ Mommypants September 29, 2010 at 7:26 am

LOVE goat cheese, fear the fruit. At first i thought maybe those were lentils and i was all excited because i bought a container of already cooked lentils from trader joe’s but they’re still in the fridge b/c I have no clue what to do with them. And then i read the recipe and realized they were NOT lentils and now i still have that container in the fridge. I also have goat cheese. But they probably don’t go together.


Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday September 29, 2010 at 7:28 am

I like your adaption of using wheat berries. I think that would provide a better texture than cracked wheat.


bryan September 29, 2010 at 7:35 am

Doesn’t even sound that crazy! I could really see those flavors and textrues playing well together. I will be giving this one a try soon (or waiting until next year, Nectarines are getting hard to come by already.


Lyndsey September 29, 2010 at 7:39 am

This looks interesting. I love goat cheese and it sounds good with the bulur! I don’t care for fresh dill, but I don’t mind dried dill. I know wierd! I better hurry up before the nectarines go bad!


Emily Z September 29, 2010 at 8:41 am

This is definitely an interesting combination. But I like a lot of these ingredients individually, so I don’t see why they wouldn’t be yummy when combined!


Evan @swEEts September 29, 2010 at 9:15 am

I’m always up for an adventure and we love goat cheese!


Jenna September 29, 2010 at 10:09 am

It sounds amazing. I LOVE interesting new flavor combinations . . . I’m thinking to myself “how soon can I fit this into my meal plan”? The sooner the better.


BigLittleWolf September 29, 2010 at 10:51 am

Ohmygod. It sounds so weird, but looks so good. . .


Kristen @ Motherese September 29, 2010 at 10:56 am

I’m loving all of these veg-head recipes lately and this one sounds especially delicious. Now if I could only find a decent nectarine at this time of year. (My local supermarket specializes in mealy fruit trucked in from California.)


Sarah @ Momalom September 29, 2010 at 10:58 am

Ooh, this looks completely yummy. But I want to know, WHO on EARTH fears the goat cheese? What kind of goodness they are passing up with that one, Gah!


Sherri September 29, 2010 at 11:15 am

When something says “Crazy but Good”, I look :-). Glad I did…. love the mix of textures thing….


rebecca September 29, 2010 at 1:41 pm

wow looks like a fab salad to me yum hows things sorry its been ages


theUngourmet September 29, 2010 at 1:50 pm

This is a great late summer salad! I thought at first that the cracked wheat was lentils. I love nectarines but I haven’t eaten one all summer. I must fix that!


soccermom September 29, 2010 at 2:41 pm

I just dont know about this one. If I tried it, it would totally be out of my food comfort zone.

The photo looks yummy. but the combination I am just unsure about.


The Nervous Cook September 29, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Home run with this one! I love the fruit + grain + nut combo. Bet this didn’t last long once it hit the table.


Stephane September 29, 2010 at 4:35 pm

I don’t mean to be picky . . . perhaps I’m simply experiencing a “special” moment–but I’m missing the reference for the quantity of goat cheese I’m supposed to incorporate into this delicious-sounding salad. Is it supposed to be one of those to-taste ingredients or are you playing a little coy for the folks who tremble at its mere mention so they may approach the subject from a more oblique direction?! Thanks for any help. ; )


K Odell September 29, 2010 at 4:35 pm

MMM- reminds me a lot of the peach/tomato one- and looks just as good.


Rudri September 29, 2010 at 4:57 pm

This looks fun. I agree – it will make a nice addition to an Indian Buffet spread.


Maria September 29, 2010 at 5:19 pm

I don’t know about the bulgur…Would love it with brown rice, though…Goat cheese goodness, yum!


Paula September 29, 2010 at 6:42 pm

Love the pic and all the colors. Sadly, good nectarines are pretty much a memory around here. You come up with the most interesting stuff!


Mrs.Mayhem September 29, 2010 at 7:12 pm

Sounds intriguing, but I highly doubt any of my kids would eat it. You have trained your girls well if they will!

Actually, I should start making recipes like this for myself for lunch, when there’s no one to please but myself.


Heather September 29, 2010 at 8:37 pm

Sorry Kitch – it’s 58 degrees here and I have moved on to apples. I’ll be back around when your crazy ass weather catches up!! This looks amazing though so I’ll add it to next summers recipe list:)


FatFighterTV September 29, 2010 at 10:53 pm

Yep, I’m one of them – the goat cheese fearing types. Actually, I’m not afraid, I just don’t like it. I always sub feta instead. :)


The Curious Cat September 30, 2010 at 1:50 am

Yet another one to bookmark – and I haven’t even collected all the ingredients for the last one yet! I thought the bulgur was lentils from the photo at first! Sounds delicious…but where Missy am I going to find white balsamic vinegar on this side of the pond…?! You do set a challenge…xxx


Aging Mommy September 30, 2010 at 7:28 am

This actually sounds really interesting and fabulous all at the same time. The mere mention of either goats cheese or gorgonzola in a salad is enough for me, I love them both.


Maria Stanley September 30, 2010 at 10:12 am

I am NOT an adventurous eater, but that looks delish!! Might have to try it!


Brittany at Mommy Words September 30, 2010 at 11:11 am

Oh Maria I am not an adventurous one either and just the word Bulgar scares me (I mean it rhymes with vulgar) so I think I will go with the rice suggestion and then double the cheese as usual. I’m with Sarah – there are people who don’t like goat cheese?

I think this sounds yummy!


Katybeth September 30, 2010 at 1:04 pm

At first I wondered why is there a bugle in his recipe and then I read it a 2nd time ( a good habit for me to get into) and I thought silly me “bulgur”–the very berries I have alway walked by and longed to use at Whole foods–if only I had a recipe for them–and now I do have a recipe. We love goat cheese and I still have some left from other recipes you have shared–and pistachios–I mean how wrong can a recipe ever go if I add pistachios! We even like dill. This one will be a winner for us–I just know it!

Can’t wait to sound my bugle and bring my family to dinner for this one!


Justine September 30, 2010 at 1:17 pm

Nectarines in a salad?? That’s crazy talk! But I trust you. If you say it’s good, then it’s gotta be. (Plus the goat cheese helps).

80’s fall weather? That’s just wrong! :)


Monet September 30, 2010 at 1:23 pm

Nectarines and goat cheese always work miracles for me! This salad sounds delicious and it photographs beautifully. You are making me wish I could pop over for a bite. Thanks for sharing such a lovely, simple, meal with us!


TKW September 30, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Okay, sorry I haven’t been by to answer the questions! It’s parent-teacher conference week at school and it’s been zany–plus, my dishwasher broke again! The horror!

Anyways, for those of you wondering about wheat berries/bulgur, it depends where you live. I can find bulgur easily but have to travel to Whole Foods for wheat berries. Wheat berries have a much chewier and heartier texture than bulgur and also take a lot longer to cook…but they’re really nutritious!

For those of you who can’t get good nectarines anymore, I’m betting pears would work! Use sweet, ripe ones and toss in the orange juice too, to prevent browning. Even halved, juicy grapes would probably be delish.

Stephane, I forgot–the goat cheese was my addition! I just sprinkled it liberally, because I like the stuff! Thanks for the reminder!
And dear God, people, NO my kids do not eat this. They only eat foods in nugget form.


Belinda September 30, 2010 at 3:41 pm

Pretty, healthy and yummy?! I’ve never cooked with bulgur so you are expanding my horizon in a big way! Mmmm, and I love pistacchios, nectarines and goat cheese (one of the many cheesy reasons I could never be a vegan). Thanks for this!


Papa Guy October 3, 2010 at 8:05 pm

This was a very, very yummy dish…..I served it to the bigest food critic and best all around cook that I know, My Mom. She corrected the “cooking” of the wheat berries, though. As I was soaking them, and she was observing, she mentioned that they were to be soaked overnight and then cooked. She “Made Me” cook (boil) them for about an hour. Then I cooled them before making the salad. The general comment around the table at the meal was ” This salad is good”, of course said with mouth full……
The wine helped.


Papa Guy October 3, 2010 at 8:12 pm

OK, As I re-read the recipe I see that the Bulgar is to be soaked for 1 hr…….
as someone on an Old SNL would say, nevermind…..
Mother always knows.


TKW October 4, 2010 at 6:35 am

Papa Guy–no, your comment is great information! Wheat berries do need much more coddling than bulgur! I didn’t soak mine overnight, but they did take a good hour and a half to cook properly. I’m really glad you commented! And, of course, that the salad was a hit with your family!


Maria @ Scandi Foodie October 5, 2010 at 10:27 am

This sounds really delicious! I’d love to try it :-)


nam lim xanh quang nam July 9, 2012 at 10:33 pm

Terrific work! That is the type of information that should be shared around the internet. Disgrace on the search engines for no longer positioning this publish higher! Come on over and discuss with my web site . Thanks =)


Cheap Seo Services July 14, 2012 at 3:41 pm

jK59bo I think this is a real great article post.Much thanks again. Will read on…


What is idebenone July 14, 2012 at 6:19 pm

I admired your useful words. excellent stuff. I hope you write many. I will continue subscribing


Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: