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Monday, June 13, 2011

White Bean & Spinach Bulgur Salad with Bacon, Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms, and Blue Cheese

I was really excited about this dish when I added it to our menu plan and then I realized I had two evenings in a row where I would be eating out. Since Ryan still needed to eat, I went ahead with making it anyway...and then made sure to steal several large bites before storing it away for him to grab the next few evenings. As predicted, I loved the combination of ingredients!

The original recipe called for quinoa, but I had bulgur on hand and used that instead. You can easily swap out your grain of choice. The same could be said about cheeses--feta or goat cheese would pair nicely in this. Ryan ate the whole batch in two days over lunch and dinner, so I know it reheats well and it was liked enough to eat in a row a few different times! This comes together quickly and doesn't take any crazy ingredients, so I plan to make this again when I'm short on time and in need of something fast and flavorful.

Looking for other similar salads? Try Lemon Bulgur Salad with Asparagus & Goat Cheese or Quinoa Salad with Shrimp, Cucumber, Mango & Mint.

One Year Ago: Corn Dip

White Bean & Spinach Bulgur Salad with Bacon, Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms, and Blue Cheese
slightly adapted from Closet Cooking

-1 cup bulgur
-4 slices bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
-1 cup red onion, sliced
-4 oz. mushrooms, sliced
-3 tbsp red wine vinegar
-1 tsp sugar
-1 tsp Dijon mustard
-1 clove garlic, grated
-salt & pepper, to taste
-2 large handfuls baby spinach
-1 (15 oz) can white beans, drained and rinsed
-1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled

1. Bring 2 cups water to a boil. Stir in bulgur, remove from heat,  and cover. Allow to sit for 20 minutes, until liquid has been soaked up.
2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a pan and set aside, reserving 2 tbsp of bacon grease.
3. In the bacon pan (now empty) caramelize the onions and mushrooms (20-30 minutes), and remove from pan.
4. Add the vinegar to the pan to deglaze it. Stir in the reserved bacon grease, sugar, mustard, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Add the spinach and white beans and cook until the spinach wilts, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
6. Stir in the bacon, onions, mushrooms, and bulgur. Serve topped with blue cheese.