cracked wheat harvest salad

cracked wheat harvest salad | The Clever Carrot

Step aside quinoa, I’ve found a new love…

Say hello, to cracked wheat. It’s a mild, nutty grain with a pleasantly chewy texture. If you like couscous, it tastes very similar-but better.

Technically, it is known as ‘bulgur wheat’ but I absolutely cannot stand that name (ugh, I can’t even type the word bulgur without cringing). So, I call it cracked wheat instead. Bulgur by definition is a partially cooked cracked wheat, so the names are often used interchangeably. And lucky for me (and you), this whole ‘partially cooked’ business works wonders in the kitchen; the instant kind is ready in 10 minutes flat!


cracked wheat harvest salad | The Clever Carrot

I rallied up some vegetables and the last of my precious herbs from the garden to make this dish. It’s a warm, wilted grain salad which happens to by my favorite kind of salad. You get protein and fiber from the bulgur, err, cracked wheat and all kinds vitamins from the veg. For me, the radicchio/sweet potato combination steals the show. It’s got that yummy, bitter-sweet thing going on.

cracked wheat harvest salad | The Clever Carrotcracked wheat harvest salad | The Clever Carrot

If you came to my house for lunch, I’d probably serve you something like this. It’s healthy and filling, and a fun way to enjoy seasonal food. And don’t skimp on the dressing either. The honey balsamic is a must! Enjoy ;)

cracked wheat harvest salad | The Clever Carrot


  • Shopping for bulgur wheat can get very confusing. It is often mislabeled as cracked wheat (and vice versa). Even though bulgur wheat is a cracked wheat, the difference between the two is how they are prepared. Bulgur wheat is par-cooked and then crushed or ‘cracked’, whereas cracked wheat is not cooked at all. For this recipe, I used the instant bulgur wheat available at Trader Joe’s.

cracked wheat harvest salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
Honey balsamic vinaigrette
  • ¼ balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • ½ c. olive oil
  • 2 c. cooked bulgur wheat (I used instant)
  • 1 large handful of baby spinach leaves
  • 1 large handful of shredded radicchio
  • 2 small sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 1 Japanese eggplant, (optional) cut into half-moons
  • ⅓ c. jarred roasted red peppers, roughly chopped
  • ½ c. pomegranate seeds
  • 1 small handful of red or vidalia onion, thinly shaved
  • ⅓ c. goat cheese, crumbled
  • fresh mint
  • salt & pepper
  1. To make the vinaigrette, add the balsamic vinegar, honey, and Dijon mustard to a small bowl. Whisk well to combine. Slowly add the olive oil, and continue whisking until the vinaigrette is emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Preheat your oven to 400 F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper so that the vegetables do not stick.
  3. In a large bowl, add the sweet potatoes and eggplant (if using) and drizzle with olive oil to coat. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to the baking tray. Roast until soft and golden, about 20 minutes.
  4. Cook the bulgur wheat according to the package instructions. When finished, transfer to a large bowl.
  5. While the bulgur wheat is still warm, add the spinach and radicchio leaves to wilt slightly.
  6. Add the roasted vegetables, roasted red peppers, pomegranate seeds, and shaved onion to the bowl.
  7. Drizzle some of the vinaigrette over the salad and toss gently to combine. Add more vinaigrette as needed.
  8. Right before serving, top the salad with crumbled goat cheese and fresh mint leaves to taste.
  9. Serve with extra dressing on the side.


  1. says

    I’m discovering so many new foods lately. And, I’ve never tried cracked wheat (I dislike that “other” name too!). Your recipes always make use of such fresh ingredients. Love the look of this. Would make a perfect lunch!

  2. Pam Green says

    Your photos are beautiful! They make me want to jump right into that bowl of goodness. I will make this for Meatless Monday in the next few weeks for certain. I never knew anything about bulgur/cracked wheat so thank you for making me feel like I can brave the grain aisle successfully!

  3. says

    I never realized that cracked wheat and bulgar were the same thing! Love learning new things like that. Also, I was so excited to finally see pomegranates around that I stocked up – this looks like the perfect recipe to use one of them with!

  4. says

    What beautiful photos! “Bulgur” – you are right about the name. Something so good really ought to have a much better name. Cracked wheat will have to do. Way back in the day, -the late 1960’s to be brutally honest – when I discovered foods like brown rice and granola – you know all the foods we hippies ate, I also discovered bulgur. I was already familiar with farro, having grown up in a Italian household, so I sort of had a jump on these things… it’s the crunch and texture, so nutty, and so satisfying. Cracked wheat lovers unite!

  5. says

    I adore, cracked wheat! :) I’ve only recently discovered the coarse version, having used fine bulgur and couscous interchangeably for years. I adore every single ingredient in your salad, so I can only imagine how good they’d all taste together! :)

  6. says

    Emilie this salad is sensational from start to finish — as are your luminous photos! At first I thought you might have some exotic mushrooms in there (couldn’t quite identify) but I think it’s the Japanese eggplant. Very neat. As for bulgur, I wonder if it’s because the name reminds you of vulgar… ;-). Who knows! either way, lovely use.

  7. Mary McAdam says

    Dear Emilie – I told your Aunt Connie what a hit this salad was with my family. My daughter was home from college last week and I made it for her and other dinner guests. They all were crazy about it, so I packed it up and sent it back to college with my daughter, and gave my dinner guests your website! We made it again last night for our other daughter (a vegetarian) and her college friends home for the weekend, and sent them back with leftovers also. What a huge success this is. Thank you!!!

    p.s. I subsituted zucchini for eggplant and multicolored organic quinoa for cracked wheat b/c I forgot those two items at the store!!!

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