Spring has arrived in Philadelphia. Finally.
As I sit writing this post, the window to my left sits open, allowing a cool, but not too cool, breeze to flow in.
I could end my post here.
Spring is here, and that’s really all that needs to be said, right?
With these first few 70-degree days, I’m already feeling revived. My impulses to cook are breaking out of their winter hibernation and are quickly kicking back in. And my excitement for my new community garden plot is building by the minute.
Hopefully, this garden will yield lots of fresh veggies this summer, which will then propel lots of seasonal, healthy recipes for you on this blog. A garden is my ideal summer project. If such a project could make any money, and didn’t attempt to kill me while doing so, I’d already have quit my day job by now. I could spend every waking second outdoors and not get bored.
In fact, I did that for a few summers. My body wasn’t entirely quite as thrilled with me as my mind. But both still long for those days.
Perhaps one day, my camera will reunite me with farm life. Dream.
This easy tabbouleh (pilaf? casserole? whatever you want to call it?) is also kind of dreamy. Filled with creamy roasted eggplant and topped with not-to-be-taken-for-granted pine nuts, this is my attempt to swap pasta for whole grains and create a dish that’s equally as delicious. It worked.
Add some cheese on top, and you’ll create an even richer lunch and/or dinner for yourself. And once summer tomatoes arrive, definitely throw a few slices of those on top, too.
Feel free to keep this vegan, or add a handful of mozz. & parm. on top.
- -1 lg. eggplant, cut into 2-inch long strips
- -10 cloves garlic
- -Olive oil
- -1 lg. onion, diced
- -1 Tbsp. dried oregano
- -1 tsp. red chili pepper flakes
- -2 heaping Tbsp. tomato paste
- -3 cups bulgur wheat (+ 7 cups water)
- -1/2 cup parsley, chopped
- -1/2 cup pine nuts
- -1/2 lemon, optional
- -Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil, and scatter eggplant strips and garlic on top. Drizzle with olive oil until lightly coated, and season with salt and pepper. Bake 20-30 minutes, stirring halfway, until eggplant are soft and tender.
- Meanwhile, add 1 Tbsp. olive oil to a medium-large pot over medium-high heat. Saute onion until golden brown. Add oregano, chili pepper flakes, generous pinch of salt, and tomato paste, and stir for one minute, until combined. Add bulgur wheat and water, and bring to a boil. Cover, and reduce heat to a low simmer. Let cook 20-25 minutes, or until bulgur is soft and water is absorbed.
- When finished, stir in eggplant strips, garlic, and parsley. Adjust salt and pepper, if needed. Serve, topped with pine nuts, a spritz of fresh lemon, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.