Achiote Bulgur Salad with Avocado, Feta & Bacon
What do Middle-Eastern Bulgur, Greek Feta cheese and Mexican Achiote paste all have in common? Well, apart from the fact that each are delicious in their own way... not very much at all! Unless of course, some crazy person like me decides to bring them all together onto one plate and helps them to get to know each other...
Together with mild and creamy avocado, smokey and crispy bacon and some assorted herbs and spices, these were indeed perfect ingredients to combine into a delicious Summer salad! Just try it and see- this is how to make it right here...
I started off by boiling the bulgur, about 1 1/2 cupfuls, for 5-6 minutes, along with half a clove of garlic to give it a little aroma without it becoming too overpowering. At that point I added about a tablespoon of achiote paste and a finely sliced Spring onion. I let it simmer for a further minute or two and then turned off the heat, allowing the bulgur to soak up any remaining liquid and to become light and fluffy.
Next, I started to fry the finely diced bacon in a dry non-stick pan, whilst I prepared the other ingredients and whilst the bulgur cooled down. I occasionally stirred it to make sure it crisped-up nicely and evenly, but was easily able to do the rest of the prep work and assembly in the meantime.
The rest of the preparation was very easy! I finely chopped a handful of parsley and added that, I added the juice and zest of 1 lime and added that also- and already the flavors were beginning to get more complex and more delicious! Onwards, ever onwards! Next, came a splash of green Tabasco and a drizzle of olive oil. The next ingredient was about a 4" piece of cucumber from which I removed the seeds and then cut into a relatively fine dice. Once this was all tossed together nicely, I had the base for my salad- Easy!
I cut the avocado into cubes and gently mixed it into the salad and then scattered it with the finely diced and crispy-brown bacon... mmmm! Pretty delicious, but even now not quite enough! So I also crumbled a little Feta cheese on top, scatted it lightly with a few leaves of parsley and added one slice of avocado with a few threads of chili, purely for decorative purposes- but pretty decorative it was at that! A last light sprinkle of ground chili flakes, a last squeeze of lime juice and a drizzle of oil and one of the yummiest salads you will ever know was ready to eat! And you know what? I didn't waste too much time in doing so!