“Hot Hot Hot! The Elephants are hot!” — the opening of one of Levi’s (Mommy’s) favorite books. These words popped into my head this morning, not just because I have the entire book memorized and often get it stuck in my head, but because the news informed me that there is a heat advisory in effect today from noon until 8pm. It’s not uncommon for Santa Cruz to see several chilly weeks in August and then experience a heatwave just as kids are starting school again.
There aren’t any elephants around here, but Mommy is hot; Levi is hot; the kitties are hot! That’s why last night we wanted a no-cook dinner and something Tabbouleh-ish was our inspiration. We’ve never cooked with bulgur before. It’s a delicious, quick-cooking grain with a nutty flavor. Adding fresh herbs, fresh seasonable vegetables, and some chickpeas for extra protein made it the perfect meal for a hot evening. The recipe below made enough for the two of us, with enough leftovers for 1 lucky person’s lunch.
Tabbouleh Salad with Lemon, Mint & Chickpeas
(Adapted from the recipe from Bon Appetit, as seen on Epicurious)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 cup bulgur (cracked wheat)
1 1/2 cups boiling water
a couple handfuls of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cucumber, seeded and sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 large green onions, chopped
2 TBS. chopped fresh mint
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the bulgur with the boiling water. Cover and let stand until bulgur is tender and water has been absorbed, about 20 minutes. (Alternatively you can add the bulgur to 2 cups of cold water, bring to a boil, and simmer, covered, for 12-15 minutes. Drain and transfer to a bowl).
- Add the tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, green onions, mint, and chickpeas to the bowl of bulgur. Add the olive oil/lemon juice mixture and gently mix with a wooden spoon. Taste and season with salt & pepper to your liking.
- Let sit for at least 30 minutes so that the flavors can blend. Serve with a simple green salad.
Levi is 4 months old!