Tag Archives: mint

A Big Bowl of Yummy

When we’re busy on the farm in the summer, it’s good to have some go-to salads that can be made in advance, and eaten over several days if need be. This a riff on tabbouleh, a Lebanese salad from the Middle East, made primary with bulgur and parsley. Bulgur is made from parboiled or steamed wheat kernels/berries that are then dried, partially stripped of their outer bran layer, and coarsely ground. The result of this process is a highly nutritious grain that cooks relatively quickly. There might be as many recipes for tabbouleh as their are cooks. The ratio of fresh parsley to bulgur is one of the reasons.

Traditionally tabbouleh is made with bulgur, tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, parsley and mint. Since we are vegetable farmers, I like to load mine up with additional ingredients like radish, grated carrot, and chickpeas. I also like to use a little more bulgur than they might use in the Middle East, making it packed with fiber rich whole grain, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats.

Although most recipes call for a medium-coarse, or #2 bulgur, I like to use a fine bulgur or #1 for my tabbouleh. If you enjoy a more chewy grain, use the #2 medium-coarse. Either way, 1 cup dried bulgur will yield 4 cups cooked bulgur. I buy my fine bulgur from a Middle Eastern grocery store. At any rate you can adjust proportions and ingredients to your personal preferences, however non-traditional it may be. Just don’t omit the bulgur or fresh parsley altogether. Tabbouleh, although best when fresh, will keep in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

BRICKYARD FARMS TABBOULEH

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup bulgur, #1 or #2
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 medium cucumber, sliced 1/4 inch, then quarter slices
  • 4 green onions, sliced using both white and green parts
  • 6-8 radishes, sliced
  • 2-3 carrots, peeled and shredded on large holes of box grater
  • 1 large bunch curly parsley, chopped
  • 6-8 large mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (quality matters here)
INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. If you are using fine or #1 bulgur: Place 1 cup bulgur in large bowl. Boil 2 cups of water and pour in over the bulgur. Let rest for 10-12 minutes. Fluff with a fork. I like to place it in the refrigerator for about an hour to cool it down. You can also just let it cool in the bowl.
  2. If you are using medium-coarse #2, place 1 cup bulgur in a heavy pot and add 2 cups water, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (optional). Bring to a boil, then turn down to low and cover. Cook for 12 minutes. Take of heat and let stand for 10 minutes more. Fluff with a fork. Let cool to room temperature or place in refrigerator for one hour.
  3. To the cooled bulgur add your halved cherry tomatoes, cucumber, green onions. radishes, chickpeas, grated carrots, chopped parsley and mint.
  4. In a separate bowl or pint mason jar, mix together the lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil. Mix with a whisk, or shake vigorously to emulsify. Pour 1/2 of dressing over tabbouleh. Mix thoroughly. Add additional dressing just before serving.

Serves 6-8

“What is more refreshing than a salad, when your appetite seems to have deserted you?” –Alexis Soyer

Peas, Peas Me

Now that we have moved from spring to summer the fresh food possibilities have exploded.  Strawberries, sugar snap peas, fresh shelling peas, leeks, herbs, beets, garlic scapes and greens, show us how wonderful fresh food can be. Local farmers markets are teaming with everything, and it will only get better. Although we are still challenged with world events and the Covid-19 pandemic, seasonal produce helps to alleviate feeling glum, (at least it helps me to live in the moment).

I’m one of those people whose addiction to crunch surfaces in many ways; this salad for instance. It’s the best in early summer when fresh sugar snap peas, shelling peas and herbs are plentiful. I blanch ever so slightly the fresh snap peas and shelling peas to bring out the vibrancy of their color. This salad works well for a picnic, pot luck or in your screened in porch.

SUGAR SNAP PEA SALAD WITH CIDER VINAIGRETTE

INGREDIENTS  FOR SALAD:

  • 2 pints sugar snap peas, stemmed
  • 1 cup shelled or frozen peas
  • 1/2 small red onion thinly sliced or 2 spring leeks thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh dill, coarsely chopped
  • 8 fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
  • Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste

FOR VINAIGRETTE:

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (I use Braggs)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons filtered water
  • 1/2 teaspoon tamari sauce (I use Braggs Liquid Aminos)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup cold pressed sunflower oil

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a medium pot of salted water, blanch the sugar snap peas for 2 minutes, drain, then place in bowl of ice water. Drain and cut in half on a diagonal. If using fresh peas, blanch for 2 minutes, drain and place in bowl of ice water. Spin both vegetables in a salad spinner, or drain on paper towels.
  2. Slice spring leeks in small rounds, using white and light green parts only.
  3. Chop dill and mint. Place all ingredients in large bowl and toss gently with your hands.
  4. Combine all ingredients for vinaigrette in a pint Mason jar. Shake vigorously. Dress salad with about 1/4 cup dressing (you will have left over dressing) and toss gently.
  5. Serve immediately

Serves 4-6

img_6588

“Ahhh 2020 is challenging us; but this too will pass.”