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2000s Recipes + Menus

Grilled Portabella and Bulgur Salad “Sandwiches”

  • Active time:1 hr
  • Start to finish:1 1/4 hr
June 2009
Okay, you caught us: There’s no sliced bread here, and you’ll need a knife and fork. But this bulgur and grilled-vegetable salad has so much gusto that it simply cries out for a daring presentation to match.

For Tomato Vinaigrette

  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes

for salad

  • 8 large portabella mushrooms, stems reserved for another use (see cooks’ note, below)
  • 1 small red onion, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick wedges (keeping root end intact)
  • 2 medium yellow bell peppers, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling-hot water
  • 1 cup medium bulgur
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted see Tips
  • 2 1/2 oz baby arugula (4 cups)
  • 1 firm-ripe small avocado

Make vinaigrette:

  • With motor running, drop garlic into food processor and finely chop. Add tomatoes, parsley, oil, vinegar, rosemary, red-pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper and pulse until tomatoes are finely chopped but not puréed.

Make salad:

  • Peel skin from portabellas using tip of a paring knife, pulling from edge of mushroom toward center. Gently scrape off gills from mushrooms with tip of a spoon. Toss portabellas with 1/2 cup vinaigrette in a 13- by 9-inch glass baking dish and let stand, turning occasionally, 20 minutes.
  • Prepare a gas grill for direct-heat cooking over medium heat; see “Grilling Procedure”.
  • Push 1 wooden pick into each onion wedge to secure for grilling. Toss onion wedges, bell peppers, and zucchini with oil, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper. Oil grill rack, then grill vegetables, covered, turning occasionally, until tender (6 to 8 minutes for bell peppers, 6 to 10 minutes for zucchini, 8 to 12 minutes for onion, and 12 to 15 minutes for portabellas).
  • Transfer portabellas to a plate and remaining vegetables to a bowl as cooked. Cool slightly, then remove wooden picks and coarsely chop onion, bell peppers, and zucchini.
  • While vegetables cook, pour boiling-hot water over bulgur with 1/2 tsp salt in a large bowl and let stand until water is absorbed and bulgur is tender, about 5 minutes. Drain in a sieve if any water remains.
  • Add vegetables to bulgur with pine nuts and remaining vinaigrette and toss.
  • Put one fourth of arugula on each of 4 plates. Top with upside-down portabella. Pack bulgur mixture into a cup measure, then unmold on top of portabella. Top with another portabella, right side up. Serve with an avocado quarter.
Cooks’ notes:
  • Vegetables can be grilled in an oiled hot 2-burner grill pan.
  • We also have a Web-exclusive recipe using portabella mushroom stems