Vegetable Bulgur Salad

3/4 cup bulgur
1 cup boiling-hot water
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds small yellow squash, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 small red onion, chopped
1 pound asian eggplant or small italian eggplant, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 english cucumber, quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 cups baby spinach
1/2 cup fresh basil
2 tablespoons tomato, caper, and olive vinaigrette

Combine bulgur and boiling-hot water in a bowl and let stand, covered, 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and season with salt and pepper. Cool slightly.

While bulgur stands, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté squash and onion with salt and pepper to taste, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer cooked vegetables with a slotted spoon to a large plate to cool.

Add remaining 3 tablespoons oil to skillet and heat over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté eggplant with salt and pepper to taste (add more oil, 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary), stirring, until golden brown and tender, about 6 minutes. Transfer eggplant with slotted spoon to plate to cool.

Gently toss cooked vegetables with bulgur, tomatoes, cucumber, spinach, basil, vinaigrette, and salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 8 servings.



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