Squash and Aubergine ‘Jewel’ Salad

bulgarsalad

So I’m on my fourth day of my vegetarian week, but unfortunately, (or not unfortunately for me!), I made my way to London today to see my childhood best friend who I’ve not seen for about…3 years, I think (feels like too long anyway). My day was lovely, but food wise, lunch was a salad and dinner vegetarian sushi (neither of which I made myself of course!) and so I thought it wouldn’t make much of a post…so instead, here I have a recipe to still fulfil the requirements of my week, made a little while ago. I hope everyone has a good weekend when it comes round!

Bulgur wheat is a favourite in the household at the moment, and is the perfect substitute for rice in most occassions, and I’ve been switching it here and there where a recipe calls for quinoa. We only have the grainy red version left, so I prefer the more delicate texture of bulgur wheat once cooked and flavoured with lemon juice. It pairs perfectly with both cold salads and warm, roasted vegetables, and here, we have a bit of a mix. Ain’t it pretty?

bulgursalaad

We have our base of bulgur wheat, mixed with cooked squash and sweet potato cubes, with some parsley sprinkled on top. Over that, are grilled slices of aubergine, tossed with handfuls of pomegranate seeds, and finally a few edible flowers picked from the garden. I planted a few types round about in March, and the Sweet Williams are just coming through, whilst the borage plants are slowly taking over the place…opps..

Feel free to add some edible flowers to this dish yourself–some Calendulas would be goooorgeous, I think, but unfortunately my mother doesΒ not want them in her garden! But please, don’t go picking just any old flower anywhere, and don’t buy to eat from supermarkets or florists–they are not for consumption! But if you plan on growing, or already grow some flowers in your garden, and you don’t use any nasty chemicals/sprays, then this list is handy to consult! I really like how they suggest what to use the flowers for.

bulllgursalad

I think they look pretty cute though, even if they don’t add all that much but visual beauty to the dish! This is perfect for preparing beforehand and keeping in the fridge, before bringing out to adjust to room temperature for a cookout or a light dinner in the garden. We had it as a meal alongside some beautiful steaks of swordfish, but it was good enough to be eaten on its own, let alone as a measly side!

You could totally make any kinds of variation on this, keeping the bulgur wheat as your base (and the pomegranate seeds, because I think they’re too beautiful to get rid of — my friend’s little sister thought they looked like little gems, hence the name ‘jewel’ salad for this one! πŸ˜€ they sure do shine in pictures enough!) and already I’m thinking up another version but with leafy kale and sliced carrots as the main vegetables instead of the squash/sweet potato.

jewelsalad

I seriously cannot get over how pretty those colours look. So, without further ado, let’s get creating!

Serves around 4, as a side. Double (or triple!) as necessary.Β 
200g ofΒ cookedΒ bulgur wheat (this meant 55/ish g of uncooked bulgur wheat for me, but check your packaging)
200g of cubed squash, an inch thick
200g of cubed sweet potato, peeled and an inch thick
1 medium aubergine, rinsed and sliced into half an inch thick rounds
handful of parsley, rinsed and coarsely chopped
two handfuls of pomegranate seeds

5 tbsp of olive oil
2 tbsp of lemon juice
dash of ground black pepper

Cook your bulgur wheat as according to packet instructions. Remove from heat and let it cool.

Whilst your bulgur wheat cooks, boil up some water, and cook the squash and sweet potato for about 20 minutes, or until fairly tender all the way through. Drain, and let cool.

Heat up a griddle pan, add some oil (your choice–I recommend vegetable or olive), and brush some oil over your slices of aubergine lightly on both sides with some extra oil. Add the slices to the pan when hot, and cook on both sides until grill marks have formed on each. Remove from heat.

Combine the olive oil, lemon juice and pepper together.

When you’re ready to plate up, mix the bulgur and the squash and sweet potato. Top with the chopped parsley. Layer over your aubergine layers, and sprinkle the pomegranate seeds. Finally, spoon over the olive oil dressing, and plate up!

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