I made some delicious chicken and rice for this week’s meal, but I definitely needed something green to balance it all out. So, I crafted up this amazing Parsley Salad with Almonds and Apricots. I love using parsley as a salad green because it’s inexpensive, flavorful, and quite healthy. It might take a minute to get past that garnish stereotype, but once you do, you’ll see all the possibilities parsley has to offer!
I had some dried apricots floating around in my pantry, so I decided to make that the other focal point of the salad. Dried apricots aren’t exactly cheap, though, so if you don’t already have them on hand or can’t get them for a decent price, you can use raisins instead (preferably golden raisins, although regular purple will also work). I added some sliced almonds for crunch and bulked out the salad with a little cooked bulgur (cracked wheat). As an after thought, cooked rice would have worked the same, been less expensive, and I already had some in my pantry. OOPS. Or, you could even use quinoa or couscous. Lots of “grain” options for this salad.
A homemade vinaigrette brought this salad together into a sweet and savory masterpiece. The vinaigrette is a simple mix of apple cider vinegar, oil, garlic, basil, salt, and pepper (oh, and a touch of Dijon to act as the emulsifier). The dressing is so dang good I wanted to drink it straight (seriously, can I just add vodka and make it a cocktail?). It brings life to the parsley and perfectly contrasts the bits of sweet apricot. I love this salad. I love it oh so much!
The recipe makes about four cups, which I suppose could be four big servings. The salad is rather dense and flavorful, though, so I haven’t yet eaten a whole cup per sitting. So, depending on how much you like it, count on 4-6 servings.
Now to the good part!
Parsley Salad with Almonds and Apricots
- ½ cup uncooked bulgur (or rice, quinoa, or couscous) $0.87
- 1 bunch flat leaf parsley $0.87
- ½ cup sliced almonds $1.32
- 10 dried apricots (about ½ cup) $0.50
- 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
- 2 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil $0.04
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar $0.12
- 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
- ½ Tbsp Dijon mustard $0.06
- ½ tsp sugar $0.02
- ½ tsp dried basil $0.05
- ½ tsp salt + freshly cracked pepper to taste $0.05
- To cook the bulgur, bring ¾ cup water to a boil in a small sauce pot. Once boiling, stir in the dry bulgur and allow it to return to a boil. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat off, and let it sit for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, fluff the bulgur with a fork and allow to cool completely (place in the refrigerator for faster cooling).
- While the bulgur is cooking, make the dressing so the flavors have time to meld. Mince a clove of garlic and combine it in a bowl with the olive oil, vegetable oil, vinegar, Dijon, sugar, basil, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper. Whisk the mixture with a fork (or whisk) until combined. Set aside.
- Rinse the parsley well with cool water and shake off as much water as possible. Use a salad spinner or pat with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Pull the leaves from the stems and then give them a rough chop. Place the chopped parsley in a large bowl.
- Roughly chop the dried apricots into small pieces. Add the chopped apricots and sliced almonds to the bowl with the parsley. Finally, add the cooked and cooled bulgur. Pour half of the dressing over top of the salad ingredients and toss until everything is well mixed and coated with dressing. Add more dressing if desired (I used about ¾ of the total dressing recipe).
Step by Step Photos
You’ll want to start by cooking the bulgur so that it has time to cool off before adding it to the salad. I used 1/2 cup of uncooked bulgur, which will cook up to be about 1.5 cups, once fluffed. Bulgur is just wheat berries that have been cracked into pieces, steamed, and dried. If you don’t want to use bulgur, you could use rice, quinoa, or even couscous.
To cook the bulgur, bring 3/4 cup water to a boil in a small sauce pot. Once boiling, add the bulgur, give it a quick stir, and allow it to come back up to a boil (just a few seconds). Place a lid on top, turn the heat off, and let it sit for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, fluff it up with a fork and allow it to cool. I placed mine in the fridge to cool it faster.
While the bulgur is cooking, make the vinaigrette so that the flavors have a little time to meld. The vinaigrette is super simple to make. Just combine one clove minced garlic with 2 Tbsp olive oil, 2 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil, 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1/2 Tbsp Dijon, 1/2 tsp dried basil, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper. Whisk it with a fork or whisk until it’s fully mixed. The Dijon acts as an emulsifier and keeps it from separating out again. (if you want, you can add all the ingredients to a mason jar and just shake it until it’s mixed). I only used about 3/4 of the dressing, so if you know you won’t want a lot of dressing on the salad, you might want to go ahead and make a half batch (use a small clove of garlic or just cut one in half).
Now on to the actual salad. Rinse the parsley REALLY well because sand is the last thing you want to chomp down on. Shake off as much water as possible, then go one step further and use a salad spinner, paper towel, or a clean lint-free dish cloth to pat the parsley and remove any last bits of water. Pull the leaves from the stems, then give it a quick rough chop. Place the chopped parsley in a large bowl.
I had these dried apricots hanging out in my pantry and wanted to use them up. I used about 10 apricots, or 1/2 cup of dried apricot pieces. It was an 11 oz. package and this was about 1/4 of the pack, so probably about 3 oz. of apricots, if you’re going by that measurement.
Chop the dried apricots into tiny jewel like pieces so that every forkful of the salad has a nice sweet bit of apricot in it.
Add the chopped apricots, 1/2 cup sliced almonds, and the cooled bulgur to the bowl with the parsley. Make sure the bulgur is cool so that it doesn’t wilt the parsley.
Pour half of the prepared dressing over the salad and toss it until everything is well mixed and coated in dressing. Then, add more dressing as needed. I used about 3/4 of the dressing so that the salad was very moist and flavorful. It has held up well in the fridge, too. I’m on day 3 and it’s not at all wilty. Yay!
It’s sweet, savory, crunchy, and YUMMY. I love this salad.
Oh, and PRETTY too!