Well, I have been on hiatus. I don't really have any great excuse except that I got married in July and leading up to that took a great deal of planning, plus we had 8 house guests for the entire month of July which actually took more planning than the wedding itself.
But with the start of the school year just around the corner, I always feel inspired to start something new (or in this case, re-start something old). I also get this funny urge to buy nice new fall clothes, but that's for another blog.
This time of year is bittersweet for me. It's still summer, and I am constantly reminding myself of that, but everyone is acting like fall is already here and that means that winter is around the corner (ugh!). But the sweet part is that in reality, we still have several weeks of summery weather, cooler nights that just beg for another blanket and someone to snuggle with (lucky me, I have two!), and a bounty of beautiful summer vegetables from the garden and the farmers markets! This is, without a doubt, my favourite time of year to cook.
Today was warm and muggy and I wanted a healthy lunch made with garden vegetables. My friend Steph called last night from the west coast to say that what she was making for dinner (couscous with chickpeas and olives) made her think of me. I wish I could have shared it with her. Instead, I made a lovely bulgur salad full of fresh herbs and tomatoes from my dear friend Dave (mine are still green on the vines!?!). It fit the bill for a late summer, Sunday lunch for one.
Summer bulgur salad
1 cup bulgur wheat
2 cups water
1 tsp salt
Bring water and salt to the boil in a medium pot, add bulgur, stir and cover. Turn off the heat. Let the bulgur absorb all the water for about 20 minutes while you prep the vegetables.
a good handful of garden herbs, finely chopped (I used parsley, chives, basil and mint)
a few tomatoes, diced (I had a really lovely variety of heirlooms, you can use any fresh tomatoes)
half a cucumber, diced (I used a really lovely Armenian variety that I planted this year, it is so delicious and crisp, without a trace of bitterness, plus, the seeds are tiny!)
juice of one lemon
a few glugs of olive oil
When the bulgur is cooked, spoon it into a large dish and let it cool a little bit. Add the vegetables and herbs, squeeze the lemon over (catching the seeds between your fingers) and drizzle with olive oil. Taste and see if it needs a little salt or more lemon or oil, and add as needed, tasting along the way. This dish is so flexible and easy. You could add pine nuts, olives, capers, feta, any other vegetables you like. And it keeps well for several days in the fridge and makes a perfect lunch to go. Eat outdoors with a cold glass of rose and a good book!