This Bulgur Wheat Caprese Salad offers a mouthfeel that adds to your overall appreciation of the dish. I like to believe that texture is an additional ‘flavor’. That the consistency of our food influences our taste perception.
Compare water and ice cubes; the same thing, but with a difference in consistency and thus we experience it in a different way, another example may be soup. When you have a vegetable soup with the vegetables cut in big chunks, fine pieces or the entire soup came out of the blender. All three will most likely vary in taste, just slightly. The difference is driven by the texture.
Grains are a great way to add texture, almost like adding a flavor to the dish. This salad is made with bulgur wheat, often used in a tabbouleh salad, but there is no reason why it cannot be used to making a salad with ingredients from a country of the other side of the Mediterranean Sea; Italy. There also a case to be made to eat this warm. We ate it as a salad, totally cooled this time.
I roasted the pine nuts to add more flavor and selected for a combination of sun-dried tomatoes and cherry tomatoes to again add texture and flavor. The balsamic dressing was a gamble, but turned out delicious.
If you prefer another grain, like couscous, wheat berries (not really another grain), quinoa, farro or rice, you can simply substitute.
Bulgur Wheat Caprese Salad
- 1 1/2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1/2 cup bulgur wheat
- 2 ounces sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/2 ounce basil leaves
- 4 ounces Mozzarella cheese
- 10 whole cherry tomatoes
- salt and pepper
For the dressing
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 clove garlic
- salt and pepper
- Cook the bulgur wheat in water according to the direction and bring it to a boil, then allow it to summer for approx. 20-30 minutes (unless otherwise indicate on the packaging). Set aside and allow to cool.
- Roast the pine nuts in a skillet or oven until brown and fragrant.
- Drain the sun-dried tomatoes, pat them dry on a paper towel and cut them in pieces.
- Julienne the basil leaves or tear them apart.
- Cut the mozzarella in small pieces.
- Half the cherry tomatoes.
- Mix all ingredients for the dressing well, add salt and pepper to taste.
- Toss cooled bulgur wheat, pine nut, sun-dried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, basil in a bowl. Add the dressing and add salt and pepper to taste.