Robust and pleasantly bitter, broccoli rabe is one of my "go-to" tender and crunchy vegetables. This brassiceae holds up well as a simple side dish when sautéed with garlic, chili flakes, and olive oil or as a pleasant addition to grain salads. In this recipe, the broccoli rabe is cut with sweet roasted cherry tomatoes, roasted garlic dressing, and zesty roasted lemon. Hot, cold, side dish, or main, this grain salad is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Hearty grain salads are the ideal way to slowly and steadily tiptoe into fall. Although fall is my most favorite season, it is never easy to say goodbye to the lazy days of summer. This salad uses the last of the season's farmers' market tomatoes, yet still holds the light and refreshing quality that we crave in the summer. Bulgur wheat serves as a filling and dense grain that is partnered with warming citrus notes to complement the broccoli rabe as well as the changing weather.
warm Bulgur Wheat salad with Broccoli Rabe, Roasted Lemons, Za'atar Tomatoes, and Roasted Garlic Dressing
1 bunch of broccoli rabe, ends trimmed
1 cup bulgur wheat
2 organic lemons, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
2 tbsps olive oil
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp za'atar spice blend
salt and pepper
1 head of garlic
grated zest of 1/2 an organic lemon
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil + 2 tsps
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut 1/4 inch off the top of the garlic to expose the tops of the garlic cloves. Drizzle 2 tsps of olive oil over the exposed surface of the garlic. Wrap in parchment paper, then in foil, and bake. Check the garlic after 40 minutes. It is ready when the cloves are completely soft and a knife can easily pierce the flesh. Allow to cool and squeeze garlic from the skin.
On two separate sheet pans lined with parchment paper, arrange the lemon slices on one tray and the cherry tomatoes on another. Toss lemons with 1 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss tomatoes with 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp za'atar. Roast lemons for 15 minutes and tomatoes for 20-30 minutes or until slightly shriveled but still juicy. Toss half way through.
Blanch the broccoli rabe for 2 minutes in a pot of boiling salted water. Submerge in an ice bath and squeeze dry. Coarsely chop and set aside.
Place 2 cups of water and 1 cup bulgur wheat into a small pot. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 12 minutes. Drain any excess water, and place bulgur wheat into a large bowl.
For the dressing, combine roasted garlic cloves, lemon zest, lemon juice, golden balsamic vinegar, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a blender. Drizzle in 1/4 cup olive oil with the motor running, and blend for 30 seconds or until emulsified.
Pour 1 tbsp of dressing into bulgur wheat and gently fluff. Toss in the broccoli rabe and most of the tomatoes and lemons. Add the rest of the dressing and gently toss together. Garnish with reserved tomatoes and lemons.
Thank you Andy Boy Broccoli Rabe for sponsoring this post.