Thursday, October 8, 2009
Autumn is the best time of year at the farmers market, especially here in SLO county. I have to say that September through November are probably the most abundant three months of the entire year, and I feel sorry for whom ever does not take advantage of it. Summer and autumn sort of crash into each other, and it seems like everything is in season. It is amazing to see autumn apples right next to dry farmed watermelons; pumpkins next to bell peppers and green beans; and tomatoes next to collard geens. I LOVE it!!! I have been so busy lately that I feel like autumn is passing me by way to quickly. I have hardly entered the kitchen except to throw something quick together (between teaching night culinary classes, my one year old, and my husband's two businesses, I feel quite swamped). This recipe sort of came out of using up what was left in the fridge before the next mornings trip to the farmers market. I really like it, but I have done bulgar wheat salads before. I love whole grain salads though... they are so easily adapted to any season, are nourishing and filling, and typically quite easy to prepare. Hope you like it!! Oh... and I know I have been using sheep milk feta and goat cheese way too much... I am going to try and incorporate some different cheeses in. It is just that they both are so good, especially with autumn fruits (by far the most unique of the year)!!!
Roasted Autumn Harvest Vegetable and Bulgar Wheat Salad
Serves 4 as a side dish
-1 cup bulgar wheat
-1 3/4 cup vegetable stock or water
-1 bulb fennel cut into 1/2" wedges through the core
-1 small orange bell pepper, seeds removed and pepper quartered
-1 small red bell pepper, seeds removed and pepper quartered
-2 portobello mushrooms, sliced into 1 inch slices
-1 red onion, cut into 1/2" wedges
-1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
-salt and fresh ground pepper
Combine the bulgar wheat and vegetable stock in a sauce pot. Add a good pinch of salt and bring to a boil, immediately turn down to a simmer, cover, and cook until the bulgar wheat has absorbed all liquid, about 10-15 minutes. Set aside until ready to use.
Pre-heat oven to 400 F. Toss cut autumn vegetables with the extra virgin olive oil, a good pinch of salt, and a few grindings of fresh pepper. Pour out onto a baking sheet or tray, and roast in the oven until tender and slightly browned in areas, about 20-25 minutes. Set aside to cool. Rough cut the vegetables into bite sized pieces. In a large bowl combine the vegetables with the bulgar wheat. Finish the recipe as follows...
-1/2 cup toasted and chopped walnuts
-1/3 to 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese or sheep milk feta
-1/4 cup chopped basil
-Juice of 1 orange
-1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
-2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
-salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Toss the bulgar wheat and vegetables with all of the above ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary with salt and fresh ground pepper.