Bulgar, Raisin, & Walnut Salad

Our meal for Naughty Friday two weeks ago was brisket, latkes, and matzo ball soup. Hanukkah is just too damn far away and we couldn’t wait. We eat very little red meat, and since we were eating it for a couple of days (leftovers!), I made a point to limit the meat in our other meals that week. I was flipping through one of my favorite cookbooks, Simple Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin, and I stumbled upon a salad that looked intriguing. I made some variations based on what I had in my cabinets but kept the seasonings the same, and it was amazing. The recipe is super adaptable, which is nice for using up pantry items. Here’s my version of the recipe:

Bulgar, Raisin, & Walnut Salad (Serves 6)
Adapted from Jeanne Lemlin’s Couscous Salad with Dried Cranberries and Pecans 


  • 1.5 cups bulgar (or any grain you have on hand)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 cup walnuts (or any nut you have on hand)
  • 1 cup peas
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced

Lemon Dressing

  • zest & juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

In a medium pot, combine the bulgar, raisins, and turmeric with 2 cups cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until all the water is absorbed, stirring occasionally, around 10 minutes. Stir in peas, walnuts, scallions, and basil.
Combine ingredients for the Lemon Dressing in a container with a tight fitting lid and shake to combine. Pour over the bulgar mixture and stir to incorporate. Let the salad sit for at least an hour at room temperature, or overnight in the fridge, to allow the flavors to combine. Add the cucumbers just before serving.

This was so good. It is versatile as far as ingredients go, and also as far as temperature–I’m sure it would be good hot, but I made it one night when I had some free time and then ate it for several meals straight out of the fridge and it was good cold.

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