Wednesday, August 11, 2010

New Bulghur and Kale Recipes

It is so summer!  Most of the things on this plate came from the farmers market.

Herbed Bulghur with Za'atar (see below), 
Balsamic-Glazed Kale and Carrots (see below), 
Squash and Chickpeas Sauteed with Garlic

The bulghur was an improvised, last-minute, nearly-instant kind of thing.  I've always meant to do a post on bulghur, a rather amazing and ancient food.  It's wheat that is cooked, then dried, then cracked, resulting in a delicious, high-fiber, high-protein, fast-cooking, nearly-impossible-to-spoil staple grain.  What's not to love?  I also love that at Jons it comes in four different grades of grind (#1 to #4), just like sandpaper.

(for more about the history of bulghur, see this great page)

Herbed Bulghur with Za'atar

bulghur, prepared according to directions*
*(pour 2 parts boiling water over 1 part bulghur and let stand 10 minutes--that's it!)
lots of za'atar
fresh parsley, chopped
olive oil
lemon juice
salt and pepper


This isn't going to be my favorite kale recipe ever, but I was just really happy to have a new kale recipe, period.  The kale bandit has been working really hard this summer.  I'm not a big fan of putting sugar in savory dishes, and you have to do it here to make the flavors work.  The rich tamari and the sweet balsamic-sugar and carrot flavors hold their own against the slight bitterness of kale.

I've probably mentioned this before, but Vegan Planet is my favorite all-around cookbook of all time.  The recipes are not only delicious, they also feel simple and intuitive without eliciting the "why is this in a cookbook?" reaction (like, for example, some macrobiotic cookbooks with recipes for "Steamed Spinach").

Balsamic Glazed Kale and Carrots

1 bunch kale, de-stemmed and chopped
2-6 carrots, cleaned and sliced
1-2 TB olive oil
1-2 TB tamari
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1-2 tsp sugar
2 tsp cayenne (or to taste)

1. Boil veggies in salted water about 5 minutes.  Drain.
2. Heat olive oil in a very large skillet.  Add veggies and everything else all at once.  Cook over medium-low heat until liquid has evaporated.

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