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Bulgur Salad

  • August 19, 2022

Summertime is the season for barbecues, picnics and salads, but you may be looking for something different than the ubiquitous potato, macaroni or tomato salad. If you’ve ever eaten the middle Eastern dish of tabbouleh, you’ve had bulgur, a cracked wheat grain from kernels that are parboiled and dried before packaging. As a result, bulgur takes just a few minutes to cook, making it the perfect, easy grain when you want something different and don’t have much time. Just bring some water to a boil, dump in the bulgur, place the lid on top, turn off the heat and wait ten minutes. Fluff it with a fork, and you’re ready to use it — either hot with condiments, or in this case, cold with a lot of veggies and salad dressing. It’s like an artist’s canvas waiting for your creativity. In this case, I added chickpeas, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, scallions and parsley, plus some sheep’s milk feta cheese, then tossed it with a simple oil and vinegar dressing. It’s a great side dish, but could be a whole meal in itself, since it’s got the chickpeas and feta for protein, along with the vegetables. So try it and bring it to your next party or make it just for yourself. It lasts for a few days in the fridge, so you can enjoy the leftovers for lunch.


Bulgur Salad
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 cups bulgur
  • 5 cups water
  • ½ cup cucumber, finely diced
  • ½ red pepper, minced
  • 3 scallions, sliced thinly
  • a dozen cherry or grape tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • 6 ounces sheep's milk feta, cut into small pieces
  • 1 15 ounce can chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • a bunch of parsley, minced
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup vinegar (I used white balsamic)
  • salt, pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Bring the water to a boil.
  2. Add the bulgur, turn off the heat and put a lid on the pot.
  3. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes, then fluff with a fork and place in a bowl to cool.
  4. When the bulgur is cool, add the rest of the ingredients and mix well with the oil and vinegar.
  5. Adjust seasonings if more salt or pepper is needed.
 

Codfish with Chickpeas

  • March 17, 2017
The Lenten season is here and that means no meat on Fridays for many of us. Even if you don’t observe Lent, this dish is one of my favorites for so many reasons.
First of all, it’s delicious. Second of all, it’s easy to make and third of all, it’s low in calories.
What more could you want, except maybe someone to shop for you and cook for you?
One of the things that takes this over the top in flavor are the tomatoes I used in the recipe.
They’re small grape tomatoes that come in a jar and I bought them at a local gourmet store. Use canned or jarred cherry tomatoes if you can’t find these grape tomatoes, or just plain old canned diced tomatoes from the supermarket. But if you can find these specialty jarred grape tomatoes, or a similar brand, they’re worth the extra cost.
They’re so sweet I could have eaten them from the pan just with the chickpeas and seasonings added. A nice swipe of bread is all I needed. Actually, dropping a few eggs into this would make a wonderful lunch or dinner too, even without the fish.
But back to the cod. After you’ve cooked the sauce, add the chunks of codfish and put the lid on the pan.
Cook the fish for five minutes with the lid on, and you’re done. Sprinkle with more basil and parsley and serve.
This dish comes together start to finish in less than a half hour. It would make a great do-ahead dish for company too if you cook the sauce and chickpeas ahead of time, then add the fish just before you’re ready to eat.
Wouldn’t you like to dig into this?
This next photo has nothing at all to do with the codfish recipe, but it’s a teaser to let you know we still have a couple of spots available for our writing retreat in Varenna, on Lake Como, Italy this coming September.
Spend your mornings with an experienced writing teacher, workshopping that family, travel or food memoir you always meant to start.
Afternoons are free to do as you please, or you could join me on a few excursions around the lake.
And take a look at this dreamy view from your accommodations at Villa Monastero.
 It could be yours each morning if you sign up for “Italy, In Other Words.”
Click here for more details.
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Codfish with Chickpeas
for two people
1 lb. codfish, cut into large pieces
1/4 cup minced onion
2 large garlic cloves
2 T. olive oil
1 12.4 oz. container cherry or grape tomatoes (datterini)
1/3 cup white wine
15 oz. can chickpeas
salt, pepper
1/4 tsp. dried basil
freshly minced basil
freshly minced parsley
Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until wilted. Add the tomatoes and smash them flat with a fork or wooden spoon. Sauté briefly then add the white wine and stir. Next add the chickpeas, salt, pepper, basil and parsley, keeping some of the fresh herbs aside to use at the end. Put the lid on and simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes.
Add the codfish, season with salt and pepper, then put the lid on again, for about five minutes or until just cooked through. DON’T overcook or it will break up into small pieces.