Bulgur and Lentils with Parsley

Parsley can sometimes get a bad rap as the overused and poorly thought of garnish on the side of a plate.  It carries a clean, bright taste, that holds up to the heavier lentil in this dish.  So full of nutrients, Italian flat parsley especially, is a wonderful way to insert color, nutrition and flavor to this already easy but yummy side.  It was bland enough that even the girls ate it up.

Bulgur and Lentils with Parsley

4 cups chicken stock or water
1 cup brown lentils
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper
1 cup bulgur wheat
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

In medium stockpot, bring the stock to a boil. Add all the ingredients except the bulgur wheat and parsley. Cook, covered for 12 minutes on medium-high heat and add the bulgur and cook for another 8 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest for 5-10 minutes to absorb the rest of the liquid. Gently mix in the parsley and serve.

Serves 4-6

In love with grains of all kinds

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Harvesting Seaweed For the Garden

Seaweed1 Seaweed is apparently excellent fertilizer for the garden.  I've heard this before, but couldn't get past how to remove all of the salt from the seaweed without standing over the mess for an hour with the hose running or the sprinkler on, wasting all that water.  Or how much to harvest, or where, but honestly we live right on the coast so this was a poor excuse.  Some of us are just slow as, in Maine, it turns out that it rains frequently in the spring.  I'm told that just spreading the seaweed on the lawn and letting two or three rains take care of rinsing the salt away is enough.  Does it smell?  I don't know, I'll let you know, but it can't smell any worse that the occasional ripe whiff of untended chicken coop or ill-conceived compost pile.  It's rumored to be one of the best natural sources of nitrogen and potassium around. 

In any case, it was fun to play rock tag at the beach, hear the shallow surf lapping at the sand and notice the amazing array of color that can live in granite, beach glass and sea shells. 

I'm also interested to see what the seaweed does for the garden.  The benefits for me are already clear.  No wheelbarrowing 4 yards of compost to all corners of the garden, less expensive, it's a renewable resource and harvesting includes a visit or two to the beach.  I let you know in the fall how it works.

Spreading seaweed in the lawn to catch the rain – good thing we don't live in the suburbs!

© 2009 Anne Mahle