This stunning dish comes to you from my weekly vegetarian lunches with Melissa from Smells Like Brownies. Consisting of just vegetables with a little feta, this is about as healthy as you can get! It's also super filling and surprisingly delicious. I say surprisingly because let's be honest, most people don't go around graving a pile of veggies. But this is so good that even my veggie hating husband liked it! Served warm with a variety of textures and flavors, vibrant basil, and salty cheese - it really leaves you feeling satisfied.
Great on it's own as a lunch, served as a side to chicken or steak (which is what I did with leftovers), or even stuffed into a pita pocket - this is a super healthy AND yummy Summer dish. It can also become vegan quite easily. So how about it? Let's get some veggies into our lives!
It's time for another vegetarian lunch with Smells Like Brownies! I've never really liked tabbouleh. Maybe because it's usually cold, or there's too much parsley, or there's raw red onion, or it just isn't that filling - I don't know why. As it turns out, Melissa doesn't like it either! So when she suggested we try to conquer it, I was skeptical. But making something yourself means that you get to adjust it until it is the way you like it.
Upping the bulgur, balancing the parsley with mint, and using scallions instead of onion certainly helped this dish out. But what really sent it into yummy land was serving it warm, stuffed inside pitas, with a generous amount of feta. We managed to turn something we both disliked into something we both loved! It may not be traditional, but it sure is delicious.
I bought extra pita pockets and feta to go with my leftover tabbouleh, but ended up with too much! Melissa had given me some of her CSA cucumbers (since she was drowning in them), so I threw together a quick cucumber salad with feta, mint from my garden, olive oil, and champagne vinegar.
Because everything is more fun in a pita pocket! (Except for peanut butter and jelly - I just found out the hard way that that doesn't work.)
Tabbouleh Pitas with Feta
adapted from Mad Hungry
1 cup dry bulgur wheat
2 cups water
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, diced (about 1½ cups)
1 bunch scallions, sliced (about 1 cup)
1 1/2 cups minced fresh curly parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 tsp lemon zest
juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp coarse sea salt, or to taste
6 pita pocket rounds
8 oz feta, crumbled
Rinse the bulgur. Cook in the water over medium heat for 12–15 minutes, or until soft and chewy. Remove from the heat and stir in the garlic. Drain of any excess water and transfer to a large bowl.
Add the cucumbers, tomatoes, scallions, parsley, and mint. Toss together.
Whisk together the lemon zest, juice, olive oil, and salt in a small bowl. Stir the dressing into the salad to fully combine.
Serve stuffed inside pitas, layered with feta to taste.
1 cucumber, chopped
4 oz feta, crumbled
1 tbsp chopped mint
salt and pepper to taste
splash of olive oil
splash of champagne or rice wine vinegar
Mix ingredients together, serve with pitas.
My friend Melissa (at Smells Like Brownies) and I are trying to make our lunch date a weekly thing, so hopefully these posts will become more frequent. The last two times we made quinoa dishes, so we wanted to stay away from that this time. I saw this recipe for a broccolini and feta galette that looked yummy, but thought it might be even better on puff pastry like this broccoli rabe tart. I suggested this to Melissa, who agreed it sounded delish, and she decided to attempt making the puff pastry herself!
I was super impressed that she was willing to take that on - brave woman! But she said that it wasn't as difficult as she thought it was going to be, so I may have to try it myself. I mean, it was pretty freaking delicious. I believe she used this recipe, and I will add a link to her blog when she posts about it.
So, we pressed the beautiful dough into a pan (through we probably should have used a bigger one, as the crust ended up being pretty thick), and layered it with blanched broccolini, feta, garlic, scallions, and pine nuts. Then we baked it at 350 until the crust was golden, adding some Parmesan towards the end. This took a while because the dough was a bit thick, but it was so worth it!
The last time I posted a recipe for you was over a month ago! Oh my goodness! You have my deepest apologies, dear readers, and to make it up to you I will post not 1, not 2, but 3 delicious summer recipes for you!
Let's start with this gorgeous zucchini tart from Closet Cooking (which is a blog that I highly recommend). Puff pastry is topped with a mixture of ricotta, feta, lemon, fresh herbs, and an egg along with thinly sliced zucchini and baked to puffy, golden perfection. Served on its own or with a side salad, this is the perfect summer lunch.
Next up, take advantage of those juicy summer tomatoes in a slightly different take on a fresh tomato pasta with a Roasted Tomato Sauce.
I am so excited about zucchini season it isn't even funny. I have literally been dreaming about zucchini! The very first thing that I wanted to make was this gorgeous vegetable tart. Flaky, buttery puff pastry is topped with thinly shaved zucchini, bright peas, tangy feta, and fresh mint. Yum, oh yum.