Even though spring has sort of lurched itself upon on so early and unsuspecting, and I can't wait to start showcasing salads with edible sprouts and fresh peas and the herbacious whiff of all things fresh from the season, this is a heartwarming salad that can be served warm or room temperature and is made from leftover stir-fried vegetables and tossed in a zingy Asian dressing of lemon juice, soy sauce and sesame oil with a grating of fresh ginger. It's an easy healthy lunch for someone who seeks comfort and gratitude in a bowl.
When you are making a stir fry one night, choose to make extras. I like my stir fries relatively simple and mostly green: chopped Swiss chard, green beans and asparagus, although diced carrots would work here too. As would red peppers. Keep the stir fry simple and saute in oil and garlic and ginger. Add cashews towards the end and toss them until they brown and release their flavour. Set aside the leftovers and refrigerate overnight.
For the salad, you just need to prepare the Bulgar. It's such a nutty pleasant grain and works better than rice in my opinion because it parcels itself into small nuggets and adds a toasted aroma. Bulgar only requires being steeped, rather than cooked. Follow the instructions on the package but I tend to use a cup of Bulgar and one and half cups of boiling water and let it soak together in a bowl. After 30 minutes, the grains are "cooked" and if there is extra water you can drain the Bulgar in a small holed sieve so it retains its fluffiness.
Make a dressing with fresh lemon juice, a bit of soy sauce or tamari, some sesame oil and then very conservatively dress the salad, adding tablespoons until you've reached the right amount of flavour. I like to add a bit of freshly grated ginger.
You could also include some chopped fresh cilantro, but I like it as it is. With no overly sharp flavours, just a lot of good, grounding oomph. It's delicious slightly warmed or room temperature but served too cold seems to take away from its simple glory.