Tabbouleh

I am making cold salads to eat all week since it is hot, humid, and hazy. First was the standard and ever popular tuna noodle salad, and now Mediterranean Tabbouleh. This is an adaptation from the recipe on the back of the grains package.

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What you do not see in the picture above are the fresh herbs I added: 3-4 sprigs parsley and leaves from two large Greek oregano sprig.

The package recipe was for Bulgur but I only had enough for 1/2 cup so I used 1/2 cup of the barley mix as well. Cook the grains as directed on the package. I doubled the vegetables and added the feta and olives.

  • 1 cup Bulgur wheat or mixed grains, cook as per package; these quick cooking grains from Aldi cook in 10 minutes.
  • 1/2 English cucumber, sliced and diced
  • 1 large plum tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 large green onion, greens and white parts, chopped
  • 8-12 roughly chopped pitted kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup crumbles feta cheese
  • zest and juice of one lemon
  • fresh herbs, about 1/4 cup minced, I used parsley and oregano.
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

After the grains are cooked, stir in the chopped vegetables, herbs, zest and juice. Add the olives and feta cheese and drizzle with the olive oil. Stir together and serve. I served this over a bowl of torn romaine leaves.

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The whole grains make this nice and filling. I was going to serve sliced avocado with it as well, but we saved that for dessert and mixed it with a bit of sour cream, more diced tomato, garlic powder, lime juice and ate it with tortilla chips!

 

The herbal experiment…or Scarborough Fair Veg!

Sing along with me…parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme!

I was planning to steam some farm fresh green beans to have for dinner as the two girls would be home with us. I had some very thin baby carrots and thought those would work well in combination with the beans. Then I wondered how to add flavor. Fresh herbs! Why not, I have some growing right outside my kitchen door.

Looking at my herb garden I wonder what to use. I used basil with peas before so I want to use something else. Sage. I have no idea what to use fresh sage with so I’ll see if it works with beans and carrots. I select six nice sized sage leaves and cut them up and sprinkle them on top of the carrots in the steam basket. As I am preparing the green beans, I think to myself…parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme! I step out my back door and pluck some fresh herbs.Actually I snipped them with the kitchen shears.

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more green beans get piled into the pan than shown

I used a small bag (one pound?) of mini baby carrots and a batch of fresh green beans that when trimmed equaled about 2 cups. For the fresh herbs I used six sage leaves, a four inch sprig of thyme, a four inch sprig of rosemary, and a few snippets of parsley.

I steamed these for about 7 minutes. I did not keep good track of the time. I had not researched how to use sage and after preparing the pot for cooking I thought I should have kept the leaves whole like the additional herbs.But by that time they were buried beneath.

These get served with grilled pork loin chops seasoned with a Chicago steak seasoning that my son left here before going off to his Alaskan adventure. I put the jars of chimichurri,  A dog fight of flavors!, and plum sauce, Supper, on the table for people to pick for topping their pork. And didn’t Hubby do fabulous grill work on those chops?

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The herbs gave a very subtle flavor to the vegetables. I liked it; the others were indifferent.

Sunday in my Kitchen

It’s a rainy Sunday and I feel inspired to do all sorts of things. First I started with my closet. I set up ten “outfits” so I could just grab something out of the closet first thing in the morning for work. I have too many clothes so sometimes the decision making stumps me. It’s just clothes! But still!

We are in need of more ketchup and the homemade stuff is so good. I pull out the crock pot and throw in the ingredients, Special Sauce. Here is the recipe that I posted earlier.

It occurs to me that I have a container of neglected Sourdough Starter in the fridge that needs feeding. I hope it is still good. What to do with the “pour off”? Ha! I saved a fellow blogger Kristina’s post on country bread, Classic Country Bread. Her recipe is made with a poolish; I’ll substitute the starter for the poolish. I also don’t have a bread machine so I’ll just knead it in my KitchenAid with the bread hook. I have more whole wheat flour than all-purpose so I use 1 cup wheat flour and 1/1/2 cups all-purpose and two teaspoons instant yeast.  I just mix it all in the mixer, knead it for 5 minutes and place in a greased bread pan to rise.Here’s hoping it turns out okay!

I have fresh herbs that are growing nicely. I was looking through a Food magazine last week while walking on the treadmill (I have got to lose some weight!) and saw a recipe for Green Goddess dressing. I remember that from way back. So I look around on the internet for a recipe. There are plenty. This is my modification of the one from Epicurious, Buttermilk Green Goddess Dressing. I do not have anchovy paste, nor fresh tarragon. I leave the former out and use 1 teaspoon dried tarragon. I mix it all in a blender instead of the food processor.

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Not everything has to be from scratch. I put together a tray of cheese and crackers to take to the Refugee Coalition reception. And I feel so honored, the wife wants me to show her how I made the Baharat spice mixture: Timman Z’affaran. Its not about me but I am so pleased that it was so well received!

So at the end of the day here’s what I have added to my kitchen:

A wonderful artisan bread that served as our supper!

Green goddess dressing and homemade ketchup. This means I need to eat more salads this week. And some of the ketchup will be taken on our next camping trip to have on or cheeseburgers. Good eating!