This is less a recipe than an idea. A really tasty, simple, healthful idea.
It came about from a half-cup of leftover bulgur, a fridge full of odds and ends with a vaguely Middle Eastern flair, and a need for lunch. I tried something similar with quinoa and with brown rice, also to good effect. (Though I like bulgur best – somewhat to my surprise, as I’ve never been a big fan of tabbouleh.)
Here’s all you need to do: Put some cooked whole grains in a bowl. Toss with some crumbled feta cheese, finely chopped red or green onion, and chopped tomatoes, cucumber, and Kalamata olives. Or replace any or all of those ingredients with whatever you have around that sounds tasty. (Nuts, beans, veggies, even little bits of meat would work well.) No need to measure – put in however much looks good to you.
Drizzle with lemon juice or red wine vinegar and a little olive oil. Toss again. Taste. Does it need more salt? Lemon or vinegar? Oil? Add it. And you’re done!
That’s all there is to it. Use your imagination for combinations that speak to you. The basic point here is that whole grains are a wonderful canvas for tasty salads that work equally well as light lunches or side dishes.
Cooked whole grains freeze really well and are great to have on hand for uses like this. No leftover grains around? Cooked, frozen brown rice can be found at Trader Joe’s and some grocery stores.