I want to call this a quick recipe even though it takes 3 hours to get ready. Most of that is letting it sit on the counter though so I think it is an easy addition to a menu. We served it alongside lemon grilled chicken thighs and sauteed corn with bacon this past weekend.
Prep time: 60 minutes
Total time: 3 hours (with lots of downtime)
- 1 cup bulgur , fine or medium grain, rinsed under running water and drained
- 2 lemon, divided (see directions), juiced and zested
- 1 lime, juiced and zested
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
- 2cups minced fresh parsley leaves
- 1 cup assorted tomatoes from the garden
- 4 medium scallions , green and white parts, minced
- 2tablespoons minced fresh mint leaves (or 1 rounded teaspoon dried mint)
- Zest and juice 1 lemon and 1 lime. Combine with enough warm tap water to equal 1/2 cup.
- Place the bulgur wheat in a micowave safe bowl and add the lemon/lime water. Stir and let sit for 20 minutes so that the liquid can rehydrate the bulgur.
- Taste the bulgur and see if it has rehydrated sufficiently. If not you can either let it continue to sit for another 10-20 minutes or you can cover it with plastic wrap and microwave it on high for 2 minutes.
- While the bulgur rehydrates you make the dressing. Combine the zest and juice from the second lemon, olive oil, a big pinch of salt, several grinds of pepper and the paprika with a whisk.
- When the bulgur is ready mix in the parsley and dressing. Stir to combine and refrigerate for 1-2 hours to allow the flavors to meld.
- 15 minutes before you want to serve the tabouleh prep the tomatoes. We used a mix of grape, cherry and green zebra tomatoes. The grape and cherry ones were halved. The green zebra was diced to an equivalent size. Add the tomatoes, scallions and mint to the bulgur. Stir to combine and serve.
Please don’t add the tomatoes before you refrigerate this dish. Tomatoes taste best at room temperature and putting them in the fridge dulls the flavor. Honest. You can refrigerate the leftover tabouleh however it won’t taste nearly as good the second time around.
One of the reasons I share the list of what we made for our Saturday night gatherings is so I have a way to recall what we made previously. This dish is based on a recipe I found a year ago which I made, liked and forgot about. I’ve tweaked it a bit to use the spices we had on hand and adjusted the ratios for the amount I was making for Saturday night dinner.
My family came over for lunch today to celebrate my sister’s birthday.
Grilled Lemon Chicken with Rosemary
Sauteed Corn with Leeks and Bacon
Whole Wheat Rolls
Chocolate Birthday Cake (a la mom)
Notes under the cut
It was time to come up with a menu for this week and I was lacking in inspiration. So I looked back at what we made last year around this time and basically copied that menu, swapping out the protein for what was on sale at Ye Olde Wholesale Club Store.
Grilled Pork Chops
Slow-cooker Curried Chickpeas
Baked White Rice with Onions
Braised Swiss Chard
Yellow Cake with Chocolate Ganache
Notes under the cut
Tilapia is a go-to protein for us during the week. I keep a bag of warehouse store filets in the freezer. I can pull 3 filets out of the freezer, thaw them quickly in the sink while I prep a side dish and have dinner ready in 30 minutes.
Pan-fried tilapia with onion couscous and tomato-cucumber salad.
Tonight we enjoyed the fish with a side of onion couscous and a quick salad of garden fresh tomatoes, thyme, a cucumber from a co-worker and a quick vinaigrette.
This is a classic combination and it is best with locally grown, fresh from the garden, tomatoes. This isn’t so much of a recipe as an assembly job.
Never, ever, refrigerate tomatoes. Refrigeration dulls the flavor and once dulled it will never return to it’s former glory. This warning holds true for this dish as well. Prepare it just before your meal and don’t stick it in the fridge.
Banana bread is one of the first things I taught myself to bake. My fondness for bananas often leaves we with a couple of stranglers who are no longer suitable for direct consumption. This became an easy way to use up not so pleasant to look at bananas and have a tasty treat to go with my morning coffee.
Walnuts are a traditional addition to banana bread. I’m not a fan of nuts in baked goods so I rarely add them. I have been known to add a cup of chocolate chips though or even dried cranberries.
Summer vegetables were on my mind and I wanted to find a way to utilize more of the bounty that this time of year provides in the Northeast. It is sometimes difficult with picky eaters to come up with a menu that suits that tastes of all who join us. So this week I just gave up and went for something I knew I would like.
Grilled boneless chicken breasts with Mint and Cashew Gremolata
Summer Vegetable Ratatouille
Orecchiette with butter and parsley
Notes under the cut
My dad made this for me a dozen or more years back. For a while it was a staple at family gatherings at my parent’s house. He would serve it with pesto or hummus.
My version is a bit thicket than what he produced. I suspect he was more patient in shaping the dough. I’m usually in a hurry, making this as part of a weeknight meal and not very patient. I finish with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Prep time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- 20 oz. store-bought pizza dough
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- corn meal
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- sea salt and cracked black pepper
- fresh herbs such as rosemary or thyme (optional)
- Open the bag of pizza dough and place it on the kitchen counter for 30 minutes to a hour. This will allow the dough to warm up a bit and make it easier to shape.
- Light your grill, close the cover and let it heat up for 10-15 minutes. Scrape the grill grates.
- While the grill heats shape the dough. I use a pizza peel; the back of a sheet pan will work too. Start by scattering a generous pinch of corn meal over the surface of whatever you are using. Next empty the pizza dough from the bag into your hands and stretch it into a flat shape. Place it on the corn meal covered surface and let it rest for 5 minutes. After the rest gently stretch the edges to expand the dough. Rest again if it starts to pull back in a frustrating manner. In the end I aim for a generally squarish shape.
- Once the grill is heated and scraped, lubricate the grill grates using the vegetable oil. Turn the grill burners to low. Using your grill tongs dunk a wad of paper towels in the oil and apply the oil to the grate. There will be some smoke; don’t worry about it. Repeat until you’ve used up the oil.
- Make sure the dough moves on the peel/sheet pan when you give it a little shake. Better to fix that before you get to the grill. A little extra corn meal won’t hurt anyone.
- Transfer the bread to the grill by placing the lead edge of the peel/sheet pan at the back of the grill. Give the peel/pan a shake to move the edge of dough onto the grill. Once it catches the dough should slide off the peel/pan as you pull it back.
- Close the grill and cook for 2 minutes.
- Using the grill tongs grab the front edge of the dough and flip it over. Brush the cooked side of the bread with a teaspoon of olive oil. Cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Remove the grilled bread from the grill, flipping it over so the most recently grilled side is up. Brush with the remaining olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add fresh chopped or ripped herbs at this time as well.
- Cut into pieces and consume. I use a pizza cutter however a sharp knife would work well.
I used store-bought dough for convenience. I buy it at the grocery store, leave it in the fridge, pull it out when I get home from work and am ready to go in an hour or so. Some day I’ll try it with a homemade pizza dough.
The technique I used for lubricating the grill grates is explained much better by Cook’s Illustrated. Catch an episode of America’s Test Kitchen where they grill something and you see a good demo. This online episode shows the cleaning and lubricating method starting around 9 minutes and 30 seconds.
We served this with baked ham as part of our weekly dinner with friends. It was a nice change from the potatoes dauphinoise that we often serve with ham. The end result was flavorful but not overly spicy. The corral-colored sauce was very nice alongside green summer squash and yellow wax beans.