bulgur wheat salad with chorizo and runner beans
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Bulgur wheat salad with chorizo and sliced green beans has just the right balance of flavours: spicy, wholesome, fresh. It also has the best Rasta colours: red gold and green!
Assembling seemingly random foodstuffs that you just happen to have in your fridge is naturally a lottery. You think you’re creating a magic casserole out of a few slices of ham, endless courgettes from the garden and leftover rice and what comes out is, actually, ham, courgette and rice lumped together instead of a wonderful new recipe.
I have learned the hard way that fish doesn’t like mushrooms; unless very specific fish and mushrooms. Pine nuts don’t always make every salad fancier, most often they are superfluous. Fish in a stir fry doesn’t do crispy, it does overcooked. Eggs and onions only work in a full-blown shakshuka so if you’re missing peppers and tomatoes, have scrammies on toast and don’t mess with onions.
But obviously you lose some, you win some: a magic casserole or a wonderful accidental recipe does come along every now and then. This was one of those. I’d love to tell you that all my recipes are the result of a sudden flash of genius or hours spent test-cooking but I’ll be honest: they are not necessarily. Sometimes they are an accidental Fiend.
So there was some good chorizo in the fridge, absolute tonnes of runner beans and my recent obsession with grains. To be fair I did consider how this combination would work, ran a quick test tasting and thought there was nothing not to like there.
And so there isn’t – in fact there’s everything to like in the bulgur, chorizo and bean combo. The colours are a bit Rasta which is always a cheerful thing and the salad is just right in terms of spiciness, wholesomeness and greenery. It takes very little time to produce it because bulgur wheat is one of those unfussy, leisurely grains you don’t have to rinse or soak or simmer under a lid for a precise length of time – it’s like rice’s easy-going mate. Needless to say you can cook it ahead, keep in the fridge and put the salad together when needed in about ten minutes.
bulgur wheat salad with chorizo and runner beansServings: 2Time: 35 minutes
- 200g (6 oz.) runner beans
- 200g (6 oz.) cooking chorizo, sliced
- 3-4 spring onions, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 150g (¾ cup) bulgur wheat
- 350ml (1½ cup beef or vegetable stock
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 bunch dill, chopped finely
- 3-4 sprigs mint, leaves stripped and chopped finely
- salt and pepper
- Greek yoghurt, to serve
1. Remove the strings from the beans and slice them thinly on a diagonal. Place them in a pan with cold water, bring to the boil and cook for 3-5 minutes until tender with a little bite. Drain and set aside.
2. In another pan with a tight fitting lid fry the chorizo slices until browned and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep aside, leave the fat in the pan.
3. Add the onions and garlic to the fat and cook until soft. Add the bulgur, stir it to absorb the fat and pour over the stock. Add the smoked paprika and cayenne pepper, bring to a simmer and cover the pan. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let it stand, still covered, for 5 minutes.
4. Fluff up the bulgur with a fork and transfer it to a serving bowl. Add the chorizo, dill and mint and stir well.
5. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if necessary. Add the beans and toss the salad gently. Serve immediately (it will still be warm) or at room temperature.