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Tangy Summer Vegetable Salad with Bulgur

Bell peppers, eggplant and zucchini are all at their best in summer. Here they are simply grilled, then tossed with a vibrant mustard vinaigrette. Blue cheese and walnuts add richness, while chickpeas add protein to this plentiful salad.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Tbs. Dijon mustard 
  • 3 Tbs. sherry vinegar  
  • 1 large shallot, minced 
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed 
  • 3 Tbs. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus torn leaves for garnish 
  • Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 
  • 1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed 
  • 1 cup bulgur wheat 
  • 1 1/2 cups water 
  • 2 red bell peppers, quartered lengthwise 
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, quartered lengthwise 
  • 3 Asian eggplant, cut lengthwise into thirds 
  • 3 zucchini, cut lengthwise into thirds 
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled 
  • Coarsely chopped walnuts for garnish 

Directions:

Prepare a hot fire in a grill.

Put the mustard in a small bowl. Mix in the vinegar and then the shallot. Gradually whisk in the 1/2 cup olive oil. Add the minced parsley. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas and half of the vinaigrette and stir to coat. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.

In a saucepan, combine the bulgur and water. Season lightly with salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer until the bulgur is just tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the bulgur stand, covered, for at least 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, brush the bell peppers, eggplant and zucchini with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the vegetables on the grill rack, cover the grill and cook, turning once, until brown in spots, about 7 minutes per side. Transfer the vegetables to a cutting board, cut crosswise into thirds and then slice lengthwise. Transfer to the bowl with the chickpeas. Add enough vinaigrette as needed and toss to coat.

Fluff the bulgur with a fork and spoon into a large shallow bowl. Top with the vegetables. Sprinkle with the cheese, walnuts and a few torn parsley leaves. Serve hot or at room temperature. Serves 4.

Quick Tips: Choose quick-cooking bulgur to keep the preparation time manageable on a weeknight. Grilling the vegetables keeps the kitchen cool in the summer, but broiling them works just as well. Other good vegetables to use in this salad include poblano chilies, Anaheim chilies and radicchio. The dressing and bulgur can be made 1 day ahead, and leftovers are great just as they are.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Weeknight Fresh & Fast, by Kristine Kidd (Williams-Sonoma, 2011).