Sunday, August 8, 2010


A garden will not wait for very long. Broccoli that is almost ready one week is way past ready two weeks later. The bees though, really love the yellow flowers of the fully bloomed broccoli florets.

Our broccoli wasn't all planted at the same time, so there is plenty that is just now ready for harvesting. I froze several quarts -first blanching it in boiling water for 4 minutes then chilling. The goal is to harvest and preserve our garden bounty like crazy, plus eat as much fresh produce as possible right now.

I also froze some golden beets. They were a disappointment last year canned and pickled, so I am hoping that freezing is a better way to preserve them. The second round of turnips is ready, and I pulled some to eat fresh.

There is also a profusion of Italian parsley in the garden. Parsley is a predominate ingredient in the Lebanese salad, Tabbouleh. Different versions of Tabbouleh are eaten throughout the Middle East and it has also been happily adopted by many of us non-Arabians. The ingredient amounts are pretty flexible, as are the ingredients themselves. Jeff Smith, of Frugal Gourmet fame, adds red peppers and celery, and many recipes use twice as much parsley, twice or half as much dressing and/or serve it with romaine lettuce-and the feta cheese is traditionally not included.

Mix dressing in small bowl:
5 T. olive oil
4 T. lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
1/8 t. allspice

Mix together with dressing:
1 c. medium grain bulgur wheat -I bought mine bulk and followed the directions to add 1 c. boiling water and let set for 30 minutes. It was perfect.
1 c. finely minced Italian parsley
1/3 c. finely minced mint
1/3 c. finely minced Walla Walla sweet onion, or scallions or onion thinnings
3 diced Roma tomatoes or 2 c. cherry tomatoes
1-2 diced cucumbers
8 oz. crumbled feta cheese, optional

Aside from our profusion of parsley in the garden, eating on the lawn Friday night at the Seattle Center during KEXP's Concerts at the Mural, also reminded me of this summer salad -Tabbouleh is the perfect picnic food. So of course, on the day I actually make Tabbouleh, it rains for the first time in weeks! Despite this, it was fantastic with honey-glazed golden beets, duck drummetts -and I plan to make more later in the season. Dead ripe tomatoes and fresh cucumbers from the garden will be amazing in this salad, but sometimes you just make do when you are not willing to wait.

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