Saturday, August 28, 2010

Produce of the Week: Minty Morsels and a Meaty Movie

Summer is such a fantastic time for produce lovers. So much good, fresh flavor over-flowing! One little leafy plant, often considered a weed as it rapidly takes over all available space in your garden, adds a nice clean taste to summer meals.

Mint, genus Mentha, spans an extensive range of species and varieties. Due to a rhizome (runners) rooting strategy, they spread quickly and are hard to oust once established. Spearmint, one of the most popular varieties, has a long history dating back to biblical times. Mid- second millennium, it was touted in England for its use to relieve ailments (especially digestive ones) and aid wound healing. Even today, many of us enjoy sipping mint tea (fresh mint leaves steeped in water are fantastic) when a stomach ache comes on.
Well, this month's SOS Challenge embraced this tasty herb. I had several lofty dessert plans, including something chocolaty or fruity. But, alas, I went the savory route with a light tabouleh dish. This recipe does not really require proportions and such; it's more based on ones own tastes.

Height of Summer Tabouleh
1 cup bulgur wheat
2 cups boiling water or vegetable stock
2 medium tomatoes
1 large cucumber or several small ones
Handful of mint, chopped
Dash of white wine vinegar
Coarse sea salt, to taste
Olive oil, optional

1. Pour boiling water over bulgur. Let sit for an hour or so, until all the liquid has been absorbed into the grain.
2. Add chopped veggies, herb, vinegar, and salt. Toss. Dish out. Enjoy!

Wow, that was pretty simple! My minty dessert that evening was a delightful figgy dish. Make it vegan with either cashew ricotta (whiz some raw cashews, silken tofu, lemon juice, and pinch of sugar in a food-processor) or non-dairy vanilla yogurt. I'm a honey-eater, but agave would be fabulous, as well.
And since mint spreads like an epidemic, I'm sure if it's growing in your back yard, you have plenty more of it. Celebrate the end of summer and the peak of eggplant season with this minty dish from Calabria from Scratch.

Make Heidi's amazing Moroccan Baby Carrots or her Curried Apple Couscous...yes, I am drooling right about now. Smitten Kitchen has a lovely Mango Slaw recipe, and keeping on the sweet stuff, check out NY Times Mint Sorbet! And don't worry, Bobby Flay has us covered in the beverage department, with a nice refreshing Mint Mojito.

So now that you are all nice and situated with your refreshing drink, lounging in the remnants of summer sun, take a chance to watch my friend's awesome video on CAFOs and our commercial livestock industry. He brings up excellent points about the accumulation of waste and its impacts on the surrounding environment.

1 comment:

Ricki said...

Thanks so much for submitting this to the SOS Challenge! I probably would lean toward the minty desserts, too, but savory is always good--and tabouleh salad is great. :) And btw, your friend's video is hilarious!