Tag Archives: mint

Tabbouleh

One wedding-related detail I hadn’t anticipated is the stress of hosting out-of-town guests. Honestly, it has probably troubled me more than the big event – keeping the cat-hair level down, vacuuming the rugs every day, tidying the bathrooms, etc. And feeding all the extra mouths around.

To minimize my stress, I’ve been relying on easy one-off dishes that can be snacks or meals, depending on the person. That way, I can feed someone who just landed from a 5-hour flight, someone who just stopped by for a snack or someone who wants a light meal.

Salmon and lox are great; so is brie cheese with an assortment of crackers and jellies. I recently made tabbouleh salad for some house guests and it is the perfect, healthy and flavorful salad to make and just keep in the fridge – it only gets better with time!

I used to think tabbouleh was gross hippie food, but now I find it to be a wonderful cool, crunchy salad for spring and summer. Grant asks for it literally all the time.

Adapted from Ina Garten (she uses way too much salt in this!)

Tabbouleh

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup bulghur wheat
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup minced scallions, white and green parts (1 bunch)
  • 2 T chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 3 T chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 T chopped fresh basil
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and medium-diced
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place the bulghur in a large bowl, pour in the boiling water, and add the lemon juice, olive oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Stir, then allow to stand at room temperature for about 1 hour.

Add the scallions, mint, parsley, basil, cucumber, tomatoes, salt and the pepper to taste; mix well. Serve or cover and refrigerate.

I sprinkle a little extra sea salt over the top to finish. Scrumptious. This is definitely my new potluck go-to dish.

This will be last blog post before my wedding, and in case you miss me, here’s a picture from my bachelorette party/wine tour (which was perfect for me because it included a wine-branch wreath-making party!). I don’t know where my friend Caitlin found these Mickey Mouse ears, but I wore them with pride.

See you soon, friends! xoxo

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Pear and Prosciutto Salad with Mint and Anise

It all started at my favorite place to shop: Costco. Most people know me as the one who gets overly excited by Costco and its high-quality foods in large quantities and discount prices. I think it’s because I’m from Costco’s home turf – Kirkland, Wash. is right outside Seattle, so everyone in Washington State feels a little ownership over our big-box baby.

On a recent trip, I spotted nearly a pound of prosciutto (domestic, alas) for $8. We all know it costs more than $20 per pound at the regular grocery store. I bought it, then regretted it because how could I possibly eat that much prosciutto by myself?

Oh, friends. Of course I could!

First, I made this wonderful dish that I adapted from Bon Appetit. Juicy, ripe pear is drizzled with a light anise-seed vinaigrette and mint. Then, you layer ribbons of prosciutto on top and add extra mint (clipped from the garden, naturally). It’s a new twist on the melon-prosciutto combination that so many people love.

The mint adds a fresh brightness and the anise seed give you a little crunch of delicate licorice flavor (but not too much, because I hate licorice).

Pear and Prosciutto Salad with Mint and Anise Seed

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons good pear nectar (or juice)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon aniseed, lightly crushed (I just pinched between my fingers)
  • 2 tablespoons sliced fresh mint, divided
  • 1 unpeeled very ripe pear, halved, cored, each half cut into 6 wedges
  • Thin prosciutto slices

Whisk oil, nectar, vinegar, and aniseed in small bowl; stir in 1 tablespoon mint. Season to taste with salt. Arrange pear wedges on plates; drizzle vinaigrette over. Top with prosciutto. Sprinkle with cracked black pepper and remaining 1 tablespoon mint.

A lovely snack or first course to enjoy in the back garden or front porch. I believe we enjoyed ours with a crisp white wine.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Rhubarb Mojito

I have this very stylish and sophisticated friend. She almost always wears silk or some other luxe fabric. She has an insanely white carpet that seems to never collect dust or dirt. She can pull off ridiculously large earrings and tunics of every color and pattern.

And she can think of a way to turn almost anything into a mojito.

So, in honor of my dear Krissy, I give you Rhubarb Challenge #3: Rhubarb mojitos!

Krissy suggested this after I explained my challenge to her one night over ginger-beer cocktails at Tate’s.

But of course, I thought, I can boil the rhubarb down into a sugary syrup, strain it and then add it to a classic mojito with rum, fresh mint, lime and club soda.

These were quite yummy and incredibly refreshing. I think the secret is in the rum, not the rhubarb. Get good rum, people, and you won’t feel like you’re drinking something out of your boyfriend’s dorm room freshman year.

The rhubarb adds a nice tart sweetness that matches the minty bubbles of the drink. I recommend enjoying it on someone’s back porch on a warm afternoon, with a little Frank or Ella playing in the background.

WriteGal’s Rhubarb Mojitos

Makes roughly 10 drinks

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. rhubarb, fresh or frozen, cut into chunks
  • 2 c. water
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2/3 c. fresh lime juice
  • GOOD white rum
  • Club soda
  • fresh mint, as much as you can cut from your garden

Add rhubarb, sugar and water to saucepan and boil until thickened, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Strain into a container and press.

In a tall glass, add five or six mint leaves and muddle with a spoon.

Add one shot of rum, one shot of lime and one shot of rhubarb syrup. Fill the glass with ice and finish with club soda. Stir to combine and taste to see if you need more rhubarb syrup or lime juice. The drinks will be a light pink flavor, so wear a little pink to match. : )

And yes, we matched our drinks…and the napkins and plates. (Note: I normally wear mismatched socks) Enjoy, friends! xoxo