picnic planning: summer bulgur & chickpea salad

summer bulgur & chickpea salad | everybody likes sandwiches

Salads that double as a meal are what I tend to eat come summertime. They should be hearty so you’re not left feeling hungry an hour later and they should be filled with the bounty that summer provides. This bulgur salad is just that kind of meal. If you’re having friends over for a barbecue or are looking for a dish to bring to a summer potluck, look no further.

summer bulgur & chickpea salad | everybody likes sandwiches

While this is a great side dish, it’s fantastic as a meal. I love it because it’s easy to whip up too. Sure, there is some vegetable chopping to do, but pour yourself a beer, put on a podcast or your favourite summer jam and get to work. It’s mediative, it’s joyful…clearly I love chopping vegetables and maybe you do too.

summer bulgur & chickpea salad | everybody likes sandwiches

And really, there’s not that much going on here – just some red onion, cucumber, tomatoes, peppers, and celery. There is lots of fresh basil, but that’s easy, you just tear it up in a bunch. It’s rustic and so flavourful. Don’t forget the chickpeas! They add bulk and protein.

summer bulgur & chickpea salad | everybody likes sandwiches

The bulgur might require some planning, but I used the quick-cooking stuff that I found at Trader Joe’s last time I was in the States. Or you could spend your Sunday mornings cooking up grains and then using them throughout the week in salads. It’s a little Sunday pre-planning that makes meals during the week so much simpler.

summer bulgur & chickpea salad | everybody likes sandwiches

The dressing is a simple mixture of balsamic, white wine vinegar and olive oil but seasoned with dill (sadly I only had dried, but it worked out beautifully, regardless) and the magic earthiness of cumin. Toss everything together and enjoy your summer meal. Leftovers are tasty the next day and make for a perfect bring-to-work lunch since there’s no need for refrigeration and nothing ends up limp or soggy. And do I even need to mention that this salad is perfect picnic fare?

summer bulgur & chickpea salad | everybody likes sandwiches

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