mostly-midwestern winter tabbouleh

Yesterday (last week) we woke, and as we were having our coffee, the fella said, “I think it’s finally spring!”. Then we opened the front door to a world dusted with a powdered-sugar sprinkle of snow. And more blowing flurries off and on during the day. Bah! So what if winter just won’t roll over and say enough? So what if these late-winter, early-spring days used to be called, “the starving time”? We want something green. Something crunchy. Something zesty and toothsome and so delicious, we won’t even care that it’s unbelievably healthy.

We want mostly-midwestern tabbouleh… almost all the ingredients could be local if you planned ahead, and have access to a hoophouse (ours is too janky to shelter greens this far into the year… you can get them from the store too. Here’s a rough recipe:

1 bunch red russian or your favorite kale, washed, spun, destemmed, and finely chopped. Massage it first if you’re feeling extra loving, and it will be more tender…

1 goodly handful fresh parsley, finely chopped (save the stems for stock)

1-2 c. leftover bulgur pilaf (this one had Breslin wheat berries, some storebought pearled barley and lentils, homemade moroccan preserved lemons, and oyster mushrooms from The Plant)

Juice of half a lemon

Two cloves local garlic, minced to a paste with a tsp. sea salt

Generous splash of homemade lemon vinaigrette: roughly 2 parts olive oil to 1 part lemon juice, couple tbsp. dijon, salt & pepper to taste

small handful almonds (1/2 c?). There are almond trees that are hardy to zone 5 (hale’s hardy almond). Someone buy me one, willya? We’ve got a massive orchard expansion planned this year, as soon as our ANLAP goes through and we slap a fence up on that side lot- the neighbors have started using it as their parking pad and the city keeps moving our closing date back. Grrrrrrr. What, do they not want the extra tax money and exemption from liability when that giant cottonwood falls on the neighbor’s fence? Le sigh…

Lacto-fermented radish pickles (thinly slice a bunch of radishes, back in the fall. Salt-brine 1-3 weeks on a cool countertop in a covered glass jar, refrigerate when done). Yum!

Mix it all up in a big bowl. Eat and plot and dream and plant your tomato seeds indoors! Spring will be here before you know it.

(wrote this up last week, but have been wrestling with my new camera to get it and my laptop on speaking terms. Figured it out… pics and new posts coming tonight or tomorrow! Since it’s now actually spring but we’re still solidly held in winter’s grizzly clutches, seems as good a time as any to put this up with or without the pics…).

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