Have you heard of the Jennifer Aniston salad?
Legend has it that she and her costars on the set of Friends used to eat this everyday for lunch! Many versions of the recipe have been swirling around. This is my take on the salad – only in a larger version – for sharing with more friends!
I recently made this big batch for a girlfriends’ gathering at the beach! We enjoyed as a side with grilled chicken for dinner and as a tasty lunch on the beach!
It’s going to be my “Salad of Summer” – easy to scoop some out anytime you’re hungry. It can be made ahead and lasts about 5 days in the refrigerator. I really love the combination of the parsley and mint with the lemon, feta and salty crunchy pistachios (which I always top with before serving, so they don’t get soggy.)
Find bulgur wheat in the rice/grain section of your grocery store.
What is Bulgur Wheat?
Bulgur wheat is cracked whole grain wheat berries that have been partially cooked and dried. They cook up quickly in about 10-12 minutes. Much quicker than some other whole grains.
I have found bulgur wheat in the rice/grain section of the grocery store. Sometimes in the “natural foods” section. It’s a very versatile grain perfect for side dishes and salads!
If you can’t find bulgur wheat, you can swap out with quinoa, brown rice, farro… just adjust grain cooking times to whatever the directions on the package say for that particular grain.
Girlfriends’ Grain Salad
For Cooking the Bulgur Wheat:
- 2 cups bulgur wheat*
- 4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
Add to Cooled Bulgur Wheat:
- 12 mini cucumbers, sliced or 4 cups diced cucumber
- 1 cup flat leaf/Italian parsley finely chopped
- 2/3 cup fresh mint chiffonade (stack leaves, roll, thinly slice)
- 1/2 cup minced red onion
- 2 (15-oz) cans garbanzo beans (chick peas) rinsed & drained
- 2 lemons, juiced
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 1/2 cups feta cheese, crumbled from a 12 ounce brick feta
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper +more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon salt +more to taste
Before Serving Top With:
- 1 cup roasted, salted, shelled pistachios
Cook Bulgur Wheat & Cool:
- Add water, bulgur wheat and salt to pot (4 qt) and bring water to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook covered for about 12 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit about 5 minutes.
- I like to cool mine by spreading on a parchment lined sheet pan. Once cool, you can lift the parchment by the edges and funnel the bulgur into your bowl
- In large bowl, combined cooked and cooled bulgur, cucumber, parsley, mint, onion, garbanzo beans, lemon juice, olive oil, feta, pepper and salt. Gently stir to combine, add additional salt and pepper if desired. (keeping in mind the salted pistachios will add some saltiness.)
- Salad can be made a couple days in advance. Store covered in refrigerator. Lasts about 5 days in refrigerator.
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