simple green February 13, 2010

After the gluttony that was the chocolate sheet cake & the weekend that went with it, I needed something green & healthy. Our kitchen cabinets are busting at the seams with half-used containers of every bean and grain imaginable. I'm on a mission to use some of it up, which comes with the added benefit of healthy eating.  

I've had this recipe book-marked for some time. As a huge fan of Tabbouleh (and anything Middle Eastern really), I loved the twist this recipe put on it. It also was a great vehicle to showcase this incredible Chard mix that I've been buying from Crystal Organic Farm - I use their kale a good bit, too. I've never had chard this tender, beautiful and flavorful.  It lends itself to being eaten raw or just slightly cooked. 


This is one of those recipes that you can tweak as you'd like. Less lemon juice, more garlic, more salt. Do be careful when adding the olives that you don't salt yourself out of a delicious salad – the rinsing of the olives is helpful. Tasting along the way – for flavor levels and doneness of the bulgar – is key here. I ate a heaping spoonful of this with some herby grilled shrimp. Beautifully cooked seafood or fish would be a great pairing with the flavors & textures of this salad. 

Swiss Chard and Bulgar Salad  - based on a recipe found here and originally from Fine Cooking

  • 2 cups bulgar wheat
  • 1 large bunch swiss chard – between 1-2 pounds, tough stems removed & coarsely chopped
  • juice of 2 large lemons
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1/2 pound good-quality green olives, rinsed, pitted & chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh curly parsley 
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small pinch dried red pepper flakes
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

– Pour the bulgar into a heat safe bowl & add 3 cups of boiling water. Stir & cover. Allow to sit until tender – about 1 hour.
– Meanwhile, start a pot of boiling water. When ready, place your chopped chard into the water for 1-2 minutes. I don't like my chard too cooked but this is a matter of personal preference – I want some toothy texture still. Drain and rinse with cool water to stop cooking. Allow to drain completely. 
– While chard is cooling & draining, combine the lemon juice, garlic in a small bowl & let the mixture sit for at 10-15 minutes.
– When the bulgur is done cooking, fluff it with a fork. Make sure there is no leftover water in the bulgar. Add the grain to the the olive oil mixture.  Also add your chard, chopped parsley, chopped olives, & dried red chili flakes, and the lemon juice mixture. Taste your salad at this point for salt – the olives might make your salad salty enough. Adjust salt and pepper to your taste. You can serve this immediately at room temperature or you can refrigerate it. If you do the later, bring it up slightly in temp before serving so it's not ice cold. 


Kristi Rimkus Feb 13, 2010 08:02 pm

I know exactly what you mean. I, too, have boxes of various grains, pastas and rices that I could use up too. Thanks for the recipe!

Kalynskitchen Feb 13, 2010 09:02 pm

I am loving the sound of this!

The Teacher Cooks Feb 15, 2010 06:02 am

This sound delicious. I have never tried bulgar wheat before and this should be a good place to start. Looks lovely!

Caitlin Feb 15, 2010 05:02 pm

Oh, if only I could get the fiance to try this… I’m working on Middle Eastern food with him though. And vegetables. And beans. And just about everything except meat and potatoes. *sigh* :)

deana@lostpastremembered Feb 16, 2010 06:02 am

That is some gorgeous chard… I would put it in a vase.. or use it for that great recipe. Lovely photo!

Mowie Feb 16, 2010 12:02 pm

Oh this looks fab – being half Lebanese, I’m already a huge fan of tabbouleh, so this just looks great! Love your organic additions.