This week in the garden
The past week has been so hot that everything is growing as I wish it was back in July! The parsley I planted back in June is finally ready (find it in the CSA this week). We also brought in nearly all the squashes, which were field curing in the sun last week. They are now in the cold house along with the onions continuing to cure.

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We prepared a large order for the Ottawa Valley Food Co-op on Tuesday. The Carp Market is closed for the Carp Fair on Saturday this week so we are getting a few days off. I intend to spend these days with the kids and also doing a little catch up in the garden – taking advantage of the warm weather to put away things like netting and row cover for the winter.

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Weekly members will find “Blue Ballet” squash in their shares. Blue Ballet is a small version of Blue Hubbard Squash, with a sweeter, bright orange, fiberless flesh. Use anywhere pumpkin or butternut squash is called for like baking, mash and soups.

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This week’s share
1 box Potatoes (Red Fingerling or Russet)
1 bunch Rainbow Carrots
1 head Butterhead Lettuce
1 bunch Herbs – choice of Cilantro/Parsley/Dill
Weekly ONLY: Blue Ballet Squash
Bi-Weekly ONLY: Spaghetti Squash
Everyone: Take 2 items from the choice shelf
Large Shares ONLY: 1 extra bunch Carrots, 1 head Romaine Lettuce

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What to make this week

Given the mix available this week and perhaps combined with other items you may have in your fridge, I will highly recommend fish tacos. VERY easy and quick to make. Fresh, delicious and healthy.

Fish Tacos from Simply in Season

1/4 cup plain yogourt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 Tbsp. lime juice
1/4 tsp. each of (ground cumin, dried oregano, dried dill)
Combine and set aside.

4 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
Combine in a small bowl.

1 1/2lbs (750g) mild white fish (rinsed, patted dry, cut into 1 inch pieces)
Dip fish in the spice mixture to lightly coat. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large frypan over medium heat. Saute fish pieces in single layer until brown – about 1 minute per side.

8 corn tortilla
2 cups thinly sliced cabbage
Warm tortillas and away you go!

Additional Toppings: fresh cilantro, grated carrot, thinly sliced radish, onions, avocados, tomateos, etc.

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This week in the garden
Gorgeous weather this week has our fall plantings growing well but still a bit slow… that’s just due to the shorter days. We harvested the majority of our winter squashes and have them curing in the field, with no threat of rain in the next few days. Onions are all out and are curing in the coldhouse. Curing firms up the skins and seals the vegetable up a bit for storage. It’s looking good!

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Some of our winter squash curing.

We received our rotary plough this past week for the walk behind tractor and we’re using it to tame a plot that failed with cover cropping this season due to the rain. We only managed to get 1 of 3 plantings of buckwheat in due to the wet weather and so weeds took over. We’re planning to plough up the beds a bit, cultivate them and perhaps get a fall rye in, all before the cold sets in.

Our current cover crops of peas/oats are doing very well. Here’s a photo update. Again, this is the plot where we had our garlic.

This week’s share of the harvest
1 bunch Carrots
1 head Lettuce
2 Peppers
1 box Potatoes (Red Fingerling or Russet)
1 bunch Beets OR Cabbage
1 Delicata Squash
1 Spaghetti Squash
Large only: 1 bunch Lettuce, 1 box Potatoes

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Irrigation lines tied up for winter.

Beets….
Beets are such a comforting and rich root vegetable. Roasted beets made into a salad with a vinaigrette dressing is just classic and delicious (especially with some goat cheese on there). However, not everyone seems to like beets… maybe it’s the earthy taste. If you are looking for a way to “sneak” beets onto the plates in your house, try this unusual recipe for pancakes and feel free to douse them in maple syrup of course!

Note, you may consider roasting a bunch of beets at a time and use some for savoury dishes and some for this recipe.

Beet and Chia Pancakes

  • large or 2 medium beets (enough for 1/2 cup puréed roasted beets)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour 
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, honey, or agave syrup (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk or 1 cup yogurt + 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower, grapeseed or canola oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the greens away from the beets, leaving about 1/4 inch of stems. Scrub the beets and place in a baking dish. Add 1/2 inch water to the dish. Cover tightly. Place in the oven and roast medium beets (4 to 6 ounces) for 50 minutes, large beets (8 ounces) 60 minutes, or until very soft and easily penetrated with the tip of a knife. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the covered baking dish. Cut away the ends and slip off the skins. Purée in a food processor fitted with the steel blade until smooth. Measure out 1/2 cup. Freeze any extra.
  2. Sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar (if using sugar). In a medium-size bowl, beat together the eggs, buttermilk or yogurt and milk, oil, vanilla, beet purée and honey or agave nectar (if using). Quickly whisk in the flour mixture and fold in the chia seeds.
  3. Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat and brush with butter or oil. Drop the pancakes by the scant 1/4 cup onto the hot pan or griddle. Cook until bubbles break through and turn the pancakes. They will be quite moist so make sure to wait long enough so that they don’t fall apart when you turn them. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes on the other side, until lightly browned. Remove to a rack. Serve with maple syrup and butter.

This week in the garden
We didn’t do too much field work this past week – trying to take some time off for the long weekend… and then there was the rain…. We did however manage to harvest all our potatoes (thank you David!), which you will be seeing in the CSA over the last 4 weeks. We also got in the last cucumbers and will be harvesting the winter squashes (expect some next week already) in the coming days. The transplants are doing well after the recent rain as well as our direct seeded crops like arugula.

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We have a few flower bouquets again this week. Mixed bunches, all $5 a bouquet.

This week’s share of the harvest
1 bunch Carrots
1 Eggplant OR 1 box Tomatoes
1 bunch Turnips OR 1 bunch Daikon Radishes
1 bunch Beets OR 1 bag Mixed Lettuce
2 Peppers
2 Onions
1 Melon
1 small bunch Salad Dill (absolutely delicious)
Large only: 1 box Potatoes + 1 box Zucchini/Cucumbers

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Daikon Radishes next to our Salad Turnips

Minestrone Soup
I have “liked” Pulse Canada on Facebook and this delicious recipe for Minestrone Soup came up yesterday. We tried it last night and it really is spot on. Mathias came to the kitchen and asked me how much bacon I put in it (none…) so I decided to omit 1 can of chickpeas and added a few slices of chopped uncooked bacon along with the onions. It made a pretty big batch so I had lots of leftovers for lunch the next day (and shared a jar with our neighbour too 🙂 ).

  • 1 1/2 cups tubetti pasta (or pasta of choice)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 cups reduced sodium chicken or veggie broth
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped thyme
  • 1 can diced tomatoes 19 fl oz
  • 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) rinsed and drained, 19 fl oz
  • 1 can white kidney beans, rinsed and drained, 19 fl oz
  • 1 can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained, 19 fl oz
  • 2 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  1. Cook pasta according to directions on package. Cook until al dente, drain and toss with olive oil. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan on high, heat oil. Add garlic and saute until golden.
  3. Lower heat to medium adding carrots, celery and onion. Cook until soft, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add herbs and raise heat to high. Add beans, chickpeas, tomatoes and zucchini.
  4. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.
  5. Lower heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, skimming foam from top.
  6. Season well with pepper and sprinkle with salt to taste.
  7. Add cooked pasta and enjoy!
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Our chickens in the rain this week.

This week in the garden
First off, the CSA is a little larger this week to make up for the poor cucumbers from 2 weeks ago. I believe we had a post-harvest handling issue where the cukes were not cooled promptly, which caused too much condensation in the bin once the cukes were cooled. Apologies for the inconvenience!

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This past week, we put in lots of seeds and transplants including more radishes, arugula and spinach. We have started putting in some fall cover crops into beds including our former garlic patch. A cover crop is a forage crop that we plant to help protect our soil from erosion and to help add more organic matter and nutrients to the soil. In this case, we have been seeding a mixture of oats and peas. The plan is to let this crop grow until winter and then let it die off over winter to be incorporated in the spring. This crop should help hold the soil in place amid the spring runoff. Other areas will be getting cover cropped as well but as the weather turns cooler, we will switch to fall rye instead.

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This week’s share of the harvest
1 bunch Carrots
1 bunch Kale – or – 1 Cabbage
1 box Elderberries
3 Peppers
1 box Cherry Tomatoes
1 Eggplant
1 box Summer Squash
1 Melon (!!)
1 Onion
Large ONLY: choice shelf will be available

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Smoky Eggplant Soup

  • 2 pounds eggplant
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups sliced white or yellow onion
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 6 cups chicken broth or mild vegetable broth
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon za’atar, available in Middle Eastern groceries
  • 2 teaspoons chopped parsley
  1. Poke 2 or 3 holes in eggplants with a paring knife, then place on a baking sheet under hot broiler, about 2 inches from flame. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes, allowing skins to blacken and char. Turn and cook on other side until eggplants have softened completely, about 4 minutes more. Set aside to cool, then remove and discard skins and roughly chop eggplant flesh.
  2. Meanwhile, put 3 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy-bottomed stainless or enameled soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, season generously with salt and pepper, and cook until softened and beginning to colour, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, cayenne and reserved eggplant and cook 1 minute more, then add broth and bring to a brisk simmer. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Check seasoning of broth and adjust salt.
  3. Purée soup in batches in blender. Strain through fine-meshed sieve and discard solid debris and seeds. Add 3 tablespoons lemon juice to puréed soup and taste again, adding more as necessary. Soup should be well seasoned and rather lemony.
  4. Mix lemon zest with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil for garnish. Ladle soup into small bowls, topping each bowl with 1 teaspoon lemon oil, 1/2 teaspoon za’atar and some chopped parsley. May be served hot or cold.

 

This week in the garden
This past week we have happily had the chance to do lots of fall plantings. This included direct seeding (planting seeds directly into the soil vs. transplanting seedlings) things like radishes, spinach, salad mixes, and arugula. We have transplants going in as well including more spinach, lettuces and bok choy. We have some more kohlrabi on the way too.

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This season my mom and I decided to try out a selection of flowers for fresh cut flower bouquets. We have an idea to offer them as part of the CSA for next season. Mom’s on vacation for the week so I decided to sneak into her garden and snip some flowers for our first trial bouquets – inspired by the market flower growers I see at the Farmers’ Market. The bouquets are sweet, compact and colourful. Most bouquets are spoken for this week but if you are keen on one, we have a few extra and will offer them again next week if there is interest. Stay tuned for a Cut Flower CSA in 2018!

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This week’s share
1 bunch Carrots
1 box Elderberries
1 box Tomatoes
1 box Cucumbers
1 Garlic
1 box Summer Squash (Zucchini/Pattypan mix)
Choice: Cabbage, Heirloom Onions, Turnips or Shishito Peppers
Large Only: Potatoes and Beans

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What to do with Elderberries?
I started growing elderberries for Mathias. They are very popular in Denmark – especially in the form of cordial syrups. The fragrant flowers are also used to infuse everything from cocktail mixes to skin care products. The Danes love it! My mother in law makes a fabulous jam from them. This year she recommended that I wait for my apples to be ready and make an apple-elderberry jam. She has great taste, so I shall do as she says! In the meantime, you use the not-so-sweet elderberries on yogourt, in smoothies or in pancakes. You may also wish to pluck them off and make a juice from them. The seeds tend to be bitter in jams and jellies so remove them by heating the berries and pressing them through a sieve. Elderberries are high in antioxidants and Vitamin C.

This week in the garden
The Garlic Fest was a huge success for Hedgeview Farm. We placed first with our decorated braid, 2nd with our Hardneck Garlic (Italian Purple) and 3rd with our Softneck Garlic (Portugeorge). The big surprise came when we were awarded the Jim Craig Memorial Award for Best Garlic Booth. We received a gorgeous hand made gold garlic pendant. What an honour… and we are completely sold out of garlic now except for maybe a dozen bulbs.
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We found the first ripe melon in the garden this week. They did experience quite a bit of stress from too much water and I’m not certain how well the melons will do this season but they are just starting to ripen so they will appear in the CSA in the coming weeks. Other things like winter squashing are starting to size up too. Lots of Delicata especially this season.
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Finally after several weeks of garlic obsession we got back to weeding and mowing pathways. The garden is getting back into shape as we enter into late summer and the fall season. We are already starting to plan our bed preparations for the spring.

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This week’s share of the harvest
1 bunch Carrots
1 box Potatoes (Yukon Gold or Russet)
1 box Cucumbers
1 Garlic (Italian Purple)
1 Head Lettuce
Choice Shelf #1: Radishes OR Scallions OR Pattypans
Choice Shelf #2: Beets OR Eggplant OR Shishito Peppers OR Onions OR Rainbow Chard
Large Shares ONLY: Tomatoes AND Peppers

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Yummy New Potatoes

Everyone knows potatoes, especially new potatoes so freshly harvested from the earth. I’m always so tempted to take a big bite of them when they are so fresh… I have indeed done it and they are most definitely better cooked! Here’s a great recipe for any meal – especially a nice weekend breakfast or brunch. You can omit the bacon and chipotle if needed.

Roasted Potato Hash

  • 3 slices bacon, ideally double-smoked or slab
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds medium-size Yukon Gold potatoes, approximately 5 potatoes, scrubbed and diced
  • 1 medium-size yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium-size red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chipotles en adobo, minced, to taste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 2 scallions, sliced thin, green parts only
  1. Put the bacon on a large rimmed baking sheet, place in the oven and heat to 400. Cook the bacon through — until it is chewy and going to crisp — approximately 15 minutes. Remove the bacon from the pan, and set aside. There should be a couple of tablespoons of bacon fat in the pan. If there is more, discard it.
  2. Add the butter to the bacon fat, then put the potatoes, onions and red peppers onto the pan, and stir to coat. Spread the potatoes, onions and red peppers out evenly across the pan, and return it to the oven for 20 minutes or so, then take it out again, and use a spatula to turn everything over. Cook for another 20 minutes or so, or until the potatoes are beginning to crisp, then turn them once more and cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lime juice and minced chipotles en adobo, to taste. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. When the potatoes are well crisped, take the pan out of the oven, and season with salt and pepper. Dice the reserved bacon, and scatter it on top of the potatoes, then top with the shredded cheese. Stir to combine, and return the pan to the oven until the cheese has melted, approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Tip into a mound on a warmed serving tray, drizzle with chipotle sour cream, garnish with the scallions and serve.

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Update from the Garden
This past week has been again, devoted to garlic garlic garlic. This Saturday is the Carp Farmers’ Market Garlic Festival. Saturday from 8-3 and Sunday from 10-3. It is a huge festival attracting close to 30,000 visitors each year. I’ve been busy cleaning and braiding and labelling much of the garlic harvest.

We also managed to get some new transplants in the ground for the fall including a new round of lettuces. We have seeded turnips and radishes. The spinach is already up so we’re hoping to have enough for the CSA come fall time, seeing as it was already gone to seed when the CSA started. We are starting to see the winter squashes forming, although I feel like they are late. Melons are developing too!

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This week’s share
1 bunch Rainbow Carrots
1 box Cucumbers
1 Garlic
1 bag Beans
Kale OR Chard
CHOICE: Onions, Shishito Peppers OR Beets
Zucchini/Pattypans
Large Shares ONLY: 1 extra bag of Beans AND 1 extra box Cucumbers

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Shishito Peppers
These are a new crop for us this year. My buddies from Bent Plow Farm grew them last season and I tried them. They were SO delicious that I had to grow my own… and share them with everyone. There are a few in the CSA this week but they will be showing up more as they get into full production in the coming weeks.

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Shishito Peppers are a  sweet East Asian pepper. Apparently 1 in 10 or 20 is spicy but I have not hit a hot one yet. Let me know if you find one!!

The best way I have to prepare these is to heat a pan with a bit of oil… add the peppers (whole) and saute. I like them to blacken slightly. Then, just add a little salt & a squirt of lime juice. They keep really well in a bag in the fridge.

Update from the week
This past week we have been cleaning up a couple thousand garlic in preparation for the Carp Farmers’ Market Garlic Festival, which is taking place on Saturday August 12th and Sunday August 13th. We have reserved an additional 1000 garlic for seed this year, hoping to bring our production total over 3500. It is not a lot of garlic, compared to many garlic growers but for me to harvest, cure, clean, and grade at this time of year, it is more than enough! This week we have included a rocambole variety called Korean Purple for you all to enjoy. These have many cloves and a deep, rich flavour that sweetens when cooked.

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Caught in storm today…

Last weekend we had submitted a number of items from the garden to the Exhibition at the Beachburg Fair and came home with many ribbons. Although I am proud of the vegetables, I am most thrilled about my personal baking results – claiming first prize for carrot cake… which has a special significance. The recipe came from my friend Glenn, who passed away a couple years ago from a brain tumour. I met Glenn and his wife Ali at the Carp Farmers’ Market and we developed a special farmer bond over the garlic that we grow. Ali and I now grow many of the same varieties of garlic so that in case of a bad year, we can source quality, clean seed garlic from one another. Like garlic insurance. The carrot cake was Glenn’s traditional birthday cake recipe and I’m including in the newsletter this week in honour of Glenn and this amazing garlic harvest season!

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This week’s share
1 box Cucumbers
1 bunch Onions (white and heirloom reds)
1 bunch Rainbow Carrots
1 head Lettuce (Romaine, Butterhead, etc.)
1 Garlic (Korean Purple)
2 Peppers
1 pint Green Beans
Cilantro OR Radishes
Large ONLY: 1 extra bunch Carrots, 1 extra pint Beans

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Glenn’s Carrot Cake
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice
4 eggs
3 cups grated carrots

Sift dry ingredients into a bowl and fold in the oil, making a stiff mixture. Add the eggs. Add the carrots. Bake at 350 degrees F.

For the frosting…
1/4 cup butter
4 oz. cream cheese
2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

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Busy bees 🙂 

 

 

Quick Note: I re-use all my wooden containers for market so please transfer all veg from the wooden containers to your own containers or the produce bags. If you happen to have any of the wooden containers at home, please return them when you get a chance. Thank you!!

This week in the garden
On Thursdays and Fridays, I harvest for the Carp Farmers’ Market. Saturday is market day. Sunday is usually my day off. Mondays and Tuesdays are reserved for garden cultivating, planting, weeding, etc.

This week has been completely consumed by the garlic harvest. We’ve been pulling out garlic with every “spare” moment we have. It’s been a wet season of course so the garlic is huge… but also vulnerable to rot… so we are taking this window of opportunity to get it all in. Nearly all the garlic is currently drying and curing in our seedling house and also hay mow and I’m feeling very optimistic about this year’s crop!

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Oh hello friend… found in the garlic 🙂

This week’s share of the harvest
1 head Red Cabbage
1 bunch Carrots
1 box Raspberries
1 bunch Hakurei Turnips OR 1 bunch Beets
1 head Lettuce
Cucumbers
Summer Squash
Large ONLY: 1 bunch Turnip Greens, 1 bunch Kale, 1 pair Onions

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What to do with Hakurei Salad Turnips
These are Japanese Salad Turnips. They taste like a sweet, juicy, tender turnip. Mild and yummy. You can definitely eat the delicious juicy tops too – raw or sauteed. Slice these up into salad or on to a veggie plate. Kids love them. If you want to try cooking them… here you go…

Braised Hakurei Turnips

  • 1 pound (total) turnips and radishes
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter

    Quarter turnips if necessary. Put in saucepan with pinch of salt, butter or oil, and water to come up about halfway to their height. Cover and turn heat to medium-high. Simmer until vegetables are just about tender, 10 to 20 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook until vegetables are shiny and glazed with their juices. Add more salt if necessary and serve hot.

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    Carrots being dug.

 

Update from the Garden
I’m pretty excited that the cucumbers are in full production now. I have struggled with them in the past but this season is cucumber mania and the variety is so delicious at any size. The very first zucchini is appearing in your shares this week too. The warmer weather has been doing good things!

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Our sprawling cucumber patch

The garlic is almost there as well. I expect to be starting some harvesting next week. The stalks are still very green and will require a lot of heat and air to dry properly but the bulbs are quite large from all the rain so the time is near (to avoid the papers splitting). This week you will find fresh, uncured garlic – with big juicy cloves – wait till you open them up! Yum!

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The season’s first garlic harvested for CSA members.

Also, David and I totally hand picked raspberries for everyone this week. I think it’s a picky eater’s special this week with the share including carrots, cucumbers and raspberries. Enjoy!

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Here I am, resisting the urge to stuff the entire handful in my mouth.

This week’s share of the harvest
1 bunch Carrots
1 bunch Kale
1 fresh Garlic
1 box Raspberries
1 pair Young Onions
1 box Cucumbers
1 “unit” zucchini (may be 1 large or a couple small)
1 bag Salad Mix
Large ONLY: 1 extra Garlic, 1 extra bunch Carrots, 1 extra single Cucumber

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Pretty pairs of young onions.

Kale

Kale is another green that has become outrageously popular in recent years. I imagine that it’s not just the fact that it’s super healthy for you but because kale grows very well in our climate and it is a versatile green. Kale can be used to make chips, used in veggie patties, smoothies, stir fry, soups, mashed potatoes, etc. You can also use it in place of other greens, like pesto or this tabouleh recipe.

Kale Tabouleh

  • cup fine bulgur
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons fine sea salt, more as needed
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed, leaves finely chopped (5 cups)
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, diced (about 2 cups)
  • ½ cup torn mint leaves
  • ½ cup diced radish (if available)
  • Black pepper, as needed
  1. Cook bulgur according to package instructions. Cool.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, shallot, cumin and salt. Whisk in olive oil.
  3. In a large bowl, toss together bulgur, kale, tomatoes, mint and radish. Toss in dressing. Season with black pepper and more salt if you like, and drizzle with additional oil if desired.