This salad is going on the road. It’s leaving mama’s house on the east coast, hitching a ride with Dean Moriarty, and heading west to listen to jazz and chase girls.
…Clearly, though, this is just a salad: not Sal Paradise, and not Jack Kerouac. But, not unlike JK, it travels well, and is unconventional, yet thoroughly excellent. It’s also welcome at any barbecue you may be going to this summer–probably more so than a dead writer would be.
There’s been a lot of spotlight on the watermelon-feta combo recently, and with good reason. Watermelon isn’t the sweetest fruit, and its mellow, natural sugar complements salty feta nicely. It’s also really high in water content–in a good way. Think crunchy, refreshing explosion, not sogginess of any sort. There’s cucumber in there for a similar effect, because, why not?
As for the bulgur wheat? It gives this dish a little more heartiness, and little specks of wheat are pretty, no? We are teetering on tabouli territory here, and you could easily go that route; just add parsley and lemon juice until it tastes good (that’s my advice for everything, in food and life).
Bulgur wheat is crazy easy to cook: put it in a dish, pour in boiling water, cover, let it rest, fluff with a fork. Done.
Simple dressing: oil, red wine vinegar.
I just piled everything into a large container and took the dressing separately.
Don’t forget these other delicious things.
Just like that, you’re ready to go share this with friends and family. In my circles, there is always an outrageous amount of food. Here, we have homemade spinach dip in a bread bowl, smashed grilled rosemary potatoes, nectarine salsa, cookies, chipotle turkey burgers, and yes, Funyuns. And my obnoxiously pink toes! Hi!
And beer. Always beer. Two at a time if you must (not that I did).
Also, my dear Rachel’s backyard? Totally lovely. The Nevada sunset doesn’t hurt–they definitely, definitely are unlike those found anywhere else. Perfect for beatnik hitchhikers to ride off into, no?
Watermelon, Feta and Bulgur Wheat Salad
(adapted from Epicurious)
3/4 cup bulgur wheat
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 cups 1-inch (or so) seedless watermelon chunks
1 medium English cucumber, diced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (I used basil and mint)
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 5 ounces)
1/2 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pour 1 cup boiling water over bulgur wheat and cover. Let it rest until all of the water is absorbed (this should only take about 10 minutes or so), then fluff with a fork and cool in the fridge.
When wheat has cooled, whisk together olive oil and vinegar. Combine all non-dressing ingredients in a large dish, and when ready to serve, gently fold it all together with the dressing. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Serves 10-12 as a side dish.