As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists. ~Joan Gussow

Joy’s Peasant Salad

If I had to choose a favorite food, I might just have to say lentils. I know, so anti-climatic. One would think, that for a person that loves to eat and cook as much as I do, my favorite food would be on the fancier side of the spectrum. But honestly, I heart lentils. In fact, I remember when I was in Argentina for two weeks. At the time I was living in Bolivia and I ate lentils quite often; I usually made lentil soup at least once a week. I remember thinking towards the end of my trip how I really, really missed lentils. With all the meat to be had in Argentina, I just wanted a bowl of lentils. I guess you could call it my comfort food.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I like “complex” food too. However, I’m a practical person and for me, lentils are that magic food. Not to mention that they are a global food so they can be eaten so many ways!

Something else I like are grain-based salads with olive oil + freshly squeezed lemon juice. Think brown rice, quinoa or bulgur.

Why not put  these together and make something practical, healthy, cheap and delicious? Using The Moosewood Cookbook‘s Tabouli as my inspiration, I came up with this “peasant salad” :

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry bulgur
  • 1/2 cup of brown lentils, washed and rinsed
  • 1 large handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 large green onion (I pulled mine out of the garden), sliced thin. Use both white and green parts.
  • Juice of two lemons
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Notes: Bulgar is parboiled whole wheat. Think of it like instant oats–it really doesn’t need to be cooked, it just needs to soak up water. In Bolivia, one of my favorite soups was made with bulgur–llawa de trigo. Que rico!

Directions

(1) Place lentils in sauce pan. Add 1 + cups of water (more water may be needed during the cooking process). Cook lentils on medium-high heat until cooked through. They should be soft, but at the same time, firm enough so that they are not falling apart. For brown lentils, it takes ~ 30 minutes.

(2) Boil 2 cups of water. Place one cup of bulgur in medium-sized bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups of boiling water to bulgar. Cover and let sit 20 – 30 minutes.

(2) Add lemon juice, garlic and green onion to bowl. Once bulgur is done (all of the water has been absorbed), add to lemon juice mixture.

(3) Once lentils are done, add to bulgar mixture and mix. Drizzle 2-3 tbsp of olive oil on top and mix. Add salt and pepper to your liking.

(4) Eat warm or wait for the salad to cool. Also does wonderfully left overnight and eaten the next day.

Dry Bulgur Wheat

Green onion + parsley + garlic

Juicing lemon with handheld juicer--a must have in my kitchen

Joy's Peasant Salad, ready to be eaten

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