Bulgur Salad Stuffed Peppers

November 9, 2011

First, pears.  The winner of the Harry and David pear six-pack is commenter #74 – DVS – who tells us:

love love love H&D pears, though I haven’t had one in years. My favorite gift are the hand-decorated tiny gingerbread cookies my 92 year-old grandmother-in-law sends us every year.

Congratulations!  Send me an email so we can get you those pears!

A question that I get on a semi-frequent basis is whether or not I went to culinary school.  I did not.  I am a self-taught cook.  I learned by reading cookbooks, cooking a lot, and taking an occasional class here and there.  I love taking classes and always walk away with something that makes the cost and the time worth it.  I have two dear friends who attend all my cooking classes and they call all the little things they learn the “worth the price of admission tips”.  My friends have offered to write a guest post with their top ten of my tips.  Hopefully we’ll have that within the next month or so.

Anyway, we had a vegetarian cookbook author named Lukas Volger come to Book Larder recently.  He has a book called Vegetarian Entrées That Won’t Leave You Hungry.  The book is great.  I pick up a  lot of vegetarian cookbooks and 90% of the time, I put them back down because they contain the same old recipes that I have many versions of already.  Not this book.  The food is different  but not “out there”.  Hearty but not heavy.  Food I want to cook.  And eat.

Lukas is young and wiry and adorable.  He was effortless in the kitchen but not cocky.  He made three delicious dishes.  (Full disclosure, I did the prep work.)  When making this super tasty bulgur salad, he turned the heat up higher than I would have and got a nice char on the red onions.  The onions became not just a barely noticeable background flavor and texture but a full fledged lusty ingredient in their own right.  I always sauté my onions the same way, so it was nice to watch something different and then get to taste it.

Lukas allowed us to all taste the salad and then we stuffed it into bell peppers that had been steamed.  I thought it was a lovely entrée and one day, when I spied bags of little bell peppers in the produce section, I knew bite-size versions were going on my next catering menu.

The recipe for the bulgur salad makes quite a bit so you can be confident that, even it if you use it to stuff peppers, you will get some delicious lunches out of it.  Just as an added note, you can steam peppers, large or small, by cutting them in half and scraping out the seeds and veins.  Place them in a large skillet (one with a lid) and pour in a bit of water.  Bring to a simmer and cover for 3 minutes, turn over and steam for another 3 minutes.  When Lukas made the larger peppers in the store, he placed them, filled, in a baking dish and covered it with foil.  They went into a 400º oven for about 20 minutes.  I didn’t bake my small ones.

One Year Ago:  Roasted Mushroom with Shallots and Fresh Herbs
Two Years Ago:  Creamy Artichoke Dip
Three Years Ago:  Spinach and Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

Bulgur Salad with Kale and Feta
Vegetarian Entrées That Won’t Leave You Hungry
Serves 4-6

If you are going to stuff small peppers, I recommend you dice the onions and cut the kale into smaller pieces so that you don’t have any bits that are too large.

1 cup bulgur
2 cups water
1 tbsp. canola oil or other neutral oil
2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 small red onion, sliced into strips
2 jalapeño peppers, minced (seeded for a milder heat level)
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp. salt
¼ cup dry white wine or water
½ bunch kale, cut into thin strips
3 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
½ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1 tbsp. olive oil

Combine the bulgur and water in a small saucepan over high heat.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, until tender.  Strain off any water that hasn’t been absorbed.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the neutral oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add the cumin seeds and let sizzle until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add the onion and cook until it’s browned around the edges, about 6 minutes.  Stir in the jalapeños, garlic, and salt.  Pour in the wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon or spatula.  Add the kale and cook, tossing from time to time, until wilted, about 4 minutes.  Transfer to a mixing bowl and allow to cool slightly.  Stir in the scallions, cilantro, feta, cooked bulgur, and olive oil.  Taste and adjust the seasonings.  Serve warm, room temperature, or cold.  (Stored in an airtight container, this salad will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.)


  1. I’m sure I would LOVE this dish and I’m definitely going to try it. My husband has an aversion to stuffed peppers but I think he was scarred by meat-heavy greasy bland things his mom used to make. These look light and fresh and I like that you served the small peppers raw.

    Comment by kickpleat — November 9, 2011 @ 6:15 pm

  2. I love Lukas’ veggie burger book, and his new book has been in my Amazon cart for a few weeks. Your endorsement was just the push I needed to click the order button! The little stuffed peppers look great!

    Comment by Holly E — November 9, 2011 @ 7:37 pm

  3. Sounds wonderful. The colors are very appetizing.

    Comment by Nisrine — November 9, 2011 @ 9:02 pm

  4. I’m very inspired by all of your self- and cookbook- taught kitchen skills. I hope to teach people how to make good food someday. There is so much I want to learn and also to share. Thanks for all of your good ideas.

    Comment by Anna — November 9, 2011 @ 10:58 pm

  5. Lukas sounds like Deborah Madison for a new generation…I’m definitely going to have to check out that cookbook!

    I’ve actually never been to a cooking class but I’m sure with someone like you teaching, I’d pick up on so many good tips. I can’t wait to see what your friends post! I’m giving my first cooking demo on Saturday at Williams Sonoma…any tips you have would be much appreciated!

    that bulgur filling sounds delicious…I’m sure I’d end up eating a ton of it out of the bowl.

    Comment by Joanne — November 10, 2011 @ 1:10 am

  6. I really enjoy taking cooking classes as well. When I travel my explorations are usually centred around them as well.

    Comment by bellini — November 10, 2011 @ 7:56 am

  7. I’m always amazed by the flavor of a little char. In my case, that’s usually on chiles that end up in a sauce, but next time I’ll try it on sauteed onions too. Love the kale in the salad, and it looks great in those little peppers!

    Comment by lisaiscooking — November 11, 2011 @ 2:56 pm

  8. […] Bulgur Salad Stuffed Peppers: Dana, of the lovely baking and veggie blog Dana Treat as well as my favorite bookstore in Seattle, The Book Larder, recently wrote about her take on my Bulgur Salad Stuffed Peppers (also from Vegetarian Entrees that Won’t Leave You Hungry). That photo in the top right is hers. […]

    Pingback by Thanksgiving Recipe Round-up, Apple-pear-quince Sauce | Lukas Volger's Veggie Madness — November 16, 2011 @ 5:16 pm

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