'Make-do' Salad Bowl

  I don't know about you but I regularly find my cupboards (and fridge) almost completely bare, and in those instances I try to cobble something together that vaguely resembles a complete meal. This 'salad bowl' was the result of one such foraging scenario where I was able to utilize a couple of half-used peppers, a handful of cherry tomatoes, as well as some dried goods in the form of bulgar wheat and whole almonds ... oh, and lets not forget that broccoli. Broken into tiny, bite-sized florets and served completely raw ... in case you weren't already aware, I kinda adore raw broccoli - crunch, crunch, crunch!

 

Griddling the cherry tomatoes was the key to bringing the simple salad dressing to life. I toyed with the idea of toasting the almonds too but thought it might interfere with the taste and texture too much, so raw they remained. Stirred through the bulgar wheat, the dressing really boosts the, er, blandness (?) of this nutty, nutritious grain - regardless, I'm a bit obsessed and use it regularly, hence why I have a glut of it in my cupboards.

 

So, a bit of this and a bit of that ain't so bad ... I even managed to shoehorn a bit of protein in there too - hurrah! Next time your pantry is in need of a restock, why not have a rummage and see what odds and ends might make a decent (or at the very least, passable) meal.You might be pleasantly surprised.

 

what you'll need

1/2 large red pepper

1/2 large yellow pepper

1 small head of broccoli

1 cup bulgar wheat

 

for the sauce

handful of cherry tomatoes

1 scant cup of almonds

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 tsp agave or other sweetener (optional)

3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

 

what you'll do

Heat a griddle pan. Cut the peppers into large pieces and place skin-down in the pan ... cook until the skins blacken and then remove from the pan. Wrap tightly in cling film and set aside for 5-10 minutes before unwrapping and gently peeling away the skin - do not rinse under a tap. Cut into thin strips, season and toss with a little extra virgin olive oil.

 

Add the cherry tomatoes and griddle until they become lightly charred and soft to the touch. Pulverize the almonds in a food processor before adding the tomatoes, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, and seasoning. Whilst the sauce is blitzing slowly pour in the extra virgin olive oil until it thickens. Check for seasoning and if it needs a little added sweetness, put it in now - blitz again to combine and refrigerate until needed.

 

Pour the bulgar wheat into a large bowl and add the same amount of freshly boiled water (i.e. 1 cup), cover and set aside until the bulgar wheat has fully absorbed the water. Fluff with a fork and stir through half the sauce.

 

Cut the broccoli into small bite-size pieces (keep any remaining stalks for soups and stews) and begin assembling your bowl. I used a large platter-style bowl, placing the roasted pepper strips in the centre before spooning the bulgar wheat around the outside. Dot the broccoli florets here and there, and serve with the remaining sauce.

 

Simple, wholesome - and cheap!