What’s for Dinner (Plus: Tabouleh Recipe)

Today’s box held a bag of peaches, a bag of nectarines, a pint of cherry tomatoes, a bunch of purple basil, two cucumbers, five big green-and-yellow pattypan squashes, two beets, two skinny heads of broccoli, two bunches of carrots, lots of little red sweet peppers, and a scant handful of okra. I truly hope that these five lonely okra pods are the trickle that heralds the deluge—I love okra, always have, it’s the Southern in me.

Tonight we’re having roast beef, with a side of squashes and okra sauteed with butter and salt. Tomorrow I need to finish up a pot of red beans and rice (I ended up making that last week instead of paella), so we’ll have that, maybe with cornbread. I have a zoo date with Wendy so I want to have dinner squared away anyway!

But I don’t want to let those tomatoes sit for too long, so Friday we’ll do a sort of villager’s salad with the tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, and maybe the peppers, roasted? I don’t know, I’ll have to research and decide on a specific recipe. I might get some sausages to make it a heartier meal.

Saturday I have plans with friends, so it’s probably delivery for dinner; Sunday we’ll have a chicken roasted with carrots and beets, and I’ll make chicken stock from what’s left of the carcass. If I get ambitious I’ll make a nectarine and blackberry crisp…but who am I kidding, Robin’s not going to let the nectarines last till Sunday.

Monday I might try out that buttermilk mac and cheese I was thinking about? We’ll see. Often these meal plans seem to go wonky towards the end of the week.

I’m going to save the broccoli for sticking into Sam’s bento. Wendy made the excellent suggestion that putting in crunchy vegetables (and maybe some dip) is a good way to fill up the bowls without including too much food. Sam isn’t going to be delighted with this plan, but he’s good about eating what’s set in front of him, and don’t raw vegetables cure cancer or something? I’ll make sure to include cookies on the crudité days, so he doesn’t feel like I’m sending him off with rabbit feed.

Oh, and Mom wanted the recipe for the tabouleh I posted a picture of the other day: so here it is.

Toss in a large bowl: 1/2 cup of medium-grind bulgur; the juice of two lemons; 1/3 cup of olive oil; a half teaspoon of salt; a pinch of cayenne pepper; a huge bunch of parsley (or two smaller ones) all chopped up; a couple of nice tomatoes (chopped); some fresh mint if you have it, or a heaping teaspoon of dried mint if you don’t (use 2-3 times as much fresh mint, and chop it up, or chiffonade it if you feel fancy); and a diced cucumber. These ingredients are fairly elastic; you can put in a cuke or a ‘mater more or less and it will come out about the same. You can put in scallions or minced red onion if you want (I think I did, that day). You can guesstimate the bulgur if you want. It’s really a forgiving recipe, and I say this as someone who generally measures the water when I boil pasta.

Let the bowl sit on the counter until the bulgur is softened and fluffy, about an hour. Then put it in the fridge and let it sit for another hour. Taste it and add salt and pepper, or even more lemon juice and/or oil, if you want. It should be very bright and tangy, and the vegetable to grain ratio should be about two to one.

6 Responses to “What’s for Dinner (Plus: Tabouleh Recipe)”

  • Nina Says:

    Special note to Shannon’s Mom and anyone else who’s gluten-free or otherwise a fringe-grain fan: tabouleh recipes are all wonderful when made with quinoa!

  • Nanita Says:

    Thank you, Sweetie, for the recipe, and thank you, Nina, for the quinoa tip. One question: no cooking the bulgur (i.e., no boiling water)? The only tabouleh recipe I’ve tried, from the original Moosewood Cookbook, involved pouring boiling water over bulgur and letting it soak up and soften before adding lemon juice and other ingredients. The results, esp. texture, varied enormously from day to day, and I could never figure out why.

  • shannon Says:

    No, it doesn’t cook, it softens by absorbing the moisture from the other ingredients. Some recipes suggest tossing the bulgur and juice together first and letting it sit for a while before you add the other ingredients, but I’m not sure what this gains you.

  • Tuan Lisy Says:

    I came across this site from Bing and found this entry quite good!

  • Fernando Schnarrs Says:

    Love the entry. Keep up the good work! Thanks!

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