This bulgur salad is sweetened naturally with fresh pear and dried cranberries. Add some crunch with toasted pecans and you’re in for a treat. Served warm or chilled, you’ll love this recipe.
Ever since discovering whole grains, and ancient grains at that, I’ve been a little obsessed. It probably started with quinoa a while ago. Then I may have tried farro, couscous, bulgur, and the list goes on and on.
My favorite thing about these grains is their nutty flavor. It’s like rice grown up! And no disrespect to rice. Since I figured out how to make rice perfectly in my rice cooker, I’m a fan. But there’s the extra level of flavor missing from rice that these other options offer.
Whole grains are also the perfect canvas for so many flavor combinations. This warm bulgur salad with dried cranberries is just one such example…
The recipe below has you serving this bulgur salad warm, but it’s HEAVENLY leftover chilled too.
The dried cranberries and slightly browned pears offer a delicious fruity flavor. The butter deepens the nuttiness of the bulgur. The cranberries add a lovely sweetness and tartness that just lends itself perfectly in this dish too. And the pecans. Well, everything is better with pecans in my world.
What is Bulgur?
Bulgur is actually made from whole wheat kernels. It’s parboiled and then dried. Because of that parboiled bit, it cooks quite a bit faster than many grains!
Bulgur is fairly readily available these days. In your market, it should be with all the other grains (probably next to the rice). You can also find it online.
Ways to Serve this Bulgur Salad
I love that this bulgur salad could be a breakfast, lunch, or dinner side dish option. Think of it as a heartier oatmeal. A grown up oatmeal, if you will. (I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m betting it’d be a good substitute for fried oatmeal).
But if you think about it, this could also be a dessert recipe.
There’s a natural sweetness from the fruit. There’s a bit of butter which screams dessert. And if we’re being perfectly honest and dreamy, this warm bulgur salad (yes, serve it warm for this one) with vanilla ice cream would be heavenly. If you want to be a bit healthier, you could do a honey yogurt instead!
Excuse me while I lick my lips because this sounds so, so good!
Another favorite grain dish like this one is this kale farro salad. Cooked farro is tossed with skillet-cooked kale and onions. Chopped dried apricot, flavorful feta, and a lemon vinaigrette make it a bright, light salad perfect warm in the winter and cold in the summer.
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- ½ cup dry red bulgur
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 firm Anjou pear cored and chopped into ½-inch pieces
- ⅓ cup raw pecan halves roughly chopped
- ¼ teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Cook the bulgur according to package directions and set it aside.
- In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the pear and cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the pecans and the rosemary and cook until aromatic and toasted, about 90 seconds. Remove the skillet from the heat.
- Stir in the bulgur, cranberries, salt, and pepper. Serve warm.