Friday, May 22, 2009

Salad!

Nothing screams "summer" like the arrival of cheaper produce in grocery stores and the steadily increasing trickle of produce from early crops at the local farmer's market. I become salad-obsessed this time of year. It's funny, since when I've discussed meals with omni friends these past few weeks and have mentioned having lots of salads or raw vegetable wraps, I've gotten more than a couple of well-intentioned comments expressing that it must be really hard to find things to eat when you're a vegan. The truth is that you can incorporate an infinitesimal number of things into a salad -- they're far from being limiting. They're also not just about lettuce.

This time of year, the salad recipes appearing in food articles and magazines serve as yet another heads up that the long dreary winter is indeed far behind us (or far behind me anyway -- I don't even want to think about snow anymore). Some, like this simple Sesame Cucumber Salad featured in the Sun Sentinel yesterday (along with this S
picy Jicama Salad) make great sides. So does this Asian Slaw. On the other hand, others like this Southwestern Quinoa Salad w/ Roasted Vegetables, Black Beans and Pumpkin Seeds posted yesterday on The Examiner website, or this Southwest Pasta Salad make great hearty dishes.

A few of my own favourite salads to make include Joanne Stephaniak's variation on Tang Tsel (which is a gorgeous and tangy side dish and is always a pleaser at potlucks), this Marinated Lentil Salad and an Egyptian Orange and Olive Salad (I could eat this almost every single day -- it's that good). The salad I like throwing together the most---often after a walk through my garden to pick the ingredients fresh--is tabbouleh (or tabouli). I think that every second eclectic vegan cookbook has a variation on this. Here's mine, which is loosely adapted from Mollie Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook and which is incredibly tweakable:

Tabbouleh

What you need:
1 cup whole wheat bulgur
1-1/2 cups boiling water
1-1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 cup chopped scallions (including green part)
1/2 tsp dried mint flakes
1/4 cup virgin olive oil
freshly-ground black pepper
2 medium plum tomatoes, diced
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped and packed tightly
1/2 cup chickpeas, cooked or canned
1 cucumber, chopped

Optional:
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped

What you do:
Combine the bulgur, boiling water, and salt in a bowl. Cover and let stand 20 minutes or until bulgur is chewy. Add lemon juice, garlic, oil, and mint, and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate 2-3 hours. Just before serving add the vegetables and mix gently. Adjust seasonings and serve. Makes lots!

It seems that I'm not the only one who gets excited about tabbouleh:

2 comments:

Pomegranate said...

Thanks for the video :)

Mylène said...

I'm glad that you liked it. :-)