Finally! We are having our second dry spring in a row, but last year it was hot and dry and this year it’s cool and dry. At any rate, we need the rain badly. Our normal average monthly rainfall is over 4 inches; in the past 30 days, we had had only 1.3 (according to the NY Times). The soil has been so dry that I’ve been holding off on doing any transplanting, and I’ve been watering my veggie seedlings almost every day.
In case anyone was wondering what I planned to do with all those herbs I planted, here’s a recipe I made up yesterday that uses lots of parsley and mint:
Minty Grain and Bean Salad
For the salad
1 cup bulgur
1 large can chick peas, drained
1 ½ cups green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths
1 ½ cups fresh corn kernels (cut from about 2 ears)
1 red or orange bell pepper, chopped
1 scallions, chopped
1 cup chopped parsley
½ cup chopped mint
optional: pine nuts, cubed feta cheese
For the dressing
2 Tbl. fresh lemon juice, sherry vinegar, or white wine vinegar
4-6 Tbl. fruity olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups of water and a little salt to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the bulgur. Set aside until the bulgur has absorbed the water—about 15 minutes.
Steam the green beans and corn until crisp-tender and set aside to cool (or place in ice water to chill rapidly, but that’s not really necessary). Chop the pepper, scallions, and herbs.
Combine the bulgur, chick peas and dressing in a large bowl, and mix well. Set aside for half an hour or so to cool. Add remaining ingredients, taste for seasoning, and serve either slightly warm or chilled. If you like, garnish with more herbs and/or some pine nuts. (Served cold with the addition of feta cheese, this becomes a main course.)
And finally, an interesting link from today’s NY Times. As you probably guessed, we eat a vegetable-based diet and seek out local food whenever possible (we belong to a CSA, but more about that in future posts). Here’s a link to an interesting article about the food scene in the Rust Belt: