This vegetable-and-herb-packed whole-grain salad — whether it’s warm or chilled — has a flexibility that comes in handy with the changeable spring weather.
Served warm, it has a comfort appeal that’s welcomed on a colder evening; when chilled, it is filling yet refreshing, perfect for a sun-baked day. The recipe harnesses the heat of the just-cooked grain to temper the spinach and onion in the dish, toning down their rawness and softening them slightly. The grain itself is bulgur, a form of whole wheat that has been boiled, cracked and dried for a unique, mild-toasty flavor and quick cooking. You are probably most familiar with it as the grain used in tabbouleh, and this salad has a similar sensibility.
Bulgur comes in different-size grains, from fine to coarse. Any variety works here. You could also substitute another whole grain such as farro or quinoa. After the mixture sits for a few minutes in a bowl, a generous helping of fresh parsley and dill is added along with a simple and reliably delicious dressing of extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice.
The salad is lovely and light just as it is, but it is also wonderful with a sprinkle of salty feta cheese. Serve it with roasted or grilled poultry or meat, or as a vegetarian main with the cheese and/or a handful of toasted nuts for protein.