Summer is here (not that you'd know it from the dreadful state of the weather) and for me that means lots of salads, cold dishes and easy eats that involve minimal preparation. Fresh and light is the order of the day but that doesn't mean it shouldn't pack a punch in the taste department.In this recipe the addition of peppery radish and zingy scallion allow this simple dish to shine while the combination of crisp watermelon and perfectly crunchy lightly toasted pepitas (that's pumpkin seeds to you and me) take this bulgar wheat salad from predictable to being a real talking point.
Adding the watermelon to this salad just made sense. You see, the crucial thing about cous cous or bulgar wheat salads is to have a variety of textures. There is a danger of such dishes being bland and boring but a small twist is all it takes to transform it from conventional to kooky and as you might have guessed from some of my previous recipes such as my Sweet Potato and Kiwi Soup, I'm all about the kooky. If I can enhance a recipe by including an atypical ingredient I will and this salad was no different.
1 cup bulgar wheat
3 spring onion/scallions
1 small stick of celery
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup chopped and deseeded watermelon
zest of 1 lemon or lime
juice of 1 lemon or lime
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp cider vinegar
salt and pepper
1. Place the bulgar wheat in a bowl and cover with 1 cup of freshly boiled water. Cover the bowl with a plate or some clingfilm and allow to stand for at least ten minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork. Allow to cool uncovered.
2. Finely slice the radishes and spring onions. Cut the celery into tiny pieces. Set aside.
3. De-seed the melon and cut into small pieces.
4. Zest and juice the lemon.
5. Heat a dry frying pan/skillet and lightly toast the pumpkin seeds until crunchy and paler in colour. Move frequently to avoid burning them. Transfer to a small bowl and leave to cool completely.
6. When the bulgar wheat has cooled sufficiently, add all the ingredients including the lemon/lime juice. Season generously, pour over the oil and the vinegar.
7. Toss in the toasted pumpkin seeds. Taste and season further if necessary. Serve.