Tag Archives: salads

Cooking Food


I am mobile blogging to you today from beautiful Torrey Pines State Reserve!

I decided to rely on my middle-aged brain instead of checking my calendar, so have arrived an hour early to meet a friend and still have time to kill after forcing myself to do a run. So mobile blogging!

Ok, timely info: it’s almost Mother’s Day, and I don’t know about you, but my mom is a big fan of saving money. Rejoice: my friends over at OpenTable let me know that you can enter to win one of 10 $150 restaurant gift cards! I entered of course, and I think you should too. Here’s the link; if you win, I also think that you should invite me, even if it’s not technically in OpenTable’s contest rules.

Now, next in the series on foods that are as much fun to say as they are to eat: tabbouleh! I love tabbouleh, and so does my younger kid — we just love the awesome texture of the bulghur wheat couples with the tangy goodness of lemon juice and the party that mint and scallions bring to the table.

Tabbouleh is also super easy to make. Here, my apprentice shows you how. It’s a fantastic make-ahead option too — tastes even better if you give the flavors time to develop.

The recipe that we use is from Alice Waters, in The Art of Simple Food:



Makes 4 servings.


1/2 cup bulgur wheat

11/2 large bunches parsley (about 11/2 cups chopped)

1 bunch mint (about 1/3 cup chopped)

1 bunch scallions, white and green parts (about 1 cup chopped)

2 ripe medium tomatoes, cored and diced small

Juice of 1 lemon


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


To prepare bulgur: Place bulgur in bowl. Alice says to add cold water to cover by 1 inch, but I add boiling water — I like the tabbouleh a little softer. Soak for 20 minutes or until grains are plump. Drain in sieve.

To mix salad: Meanwhile, in large bowl, combine parsley, mint, scallions and tomatoes. Using hands, squeeze soaked bulgur to remove as much water as possible. Mix bulgur into chopped herbs and tomatoes. Add lemon juice, salt and olive oil. Mix well. Taste and add more salt, lemon juice or oil if needed. Let rest for 1 hour before serving to allow bulgur to absorb flavors.



Cooking Food Travel

The Last of Summer Tomato Salad

Et tu, summer?

After my last post about being still, I have to confess that I have been anything but. I woke up one day found myself in London:

I was there for business, but I did manage to fit in dinner with some friends, a few runs in Green Park, a peek at the Prime Meridian in Greenwich:

a meal and a chocolatey porter at the Mean Time brewery:

and a glorious hour at Fortnum & Mason, where I had an internal debate on whether my life would be incomplete without a $700 tea pot:

You know, because I have so many tea parties.

But then I realized that this decision was headed for the same outcome as a purchase I made 10 years ago of pleather pants, so I made a quick jaunt over to Carnaby Street where I bought overpriced scented erasers as souvenirs for the kids.

It was a hectic but productive trip, and as soon as I got home I promptly fell ill. And then got on a plane again soon thereafter.

All this rushing around argues for a bit of simplicity.

One of my favorite things about summer is tomatoes. Heirloom tomatoes, to be exact. Colorful, flavorful, deliciously simple. We still have time for that.

I made this salad as part of an dinner we had with friends outdoors on a warm summer night. Because when you are a friend just arriving from Germany, with another on her way to Europe and a third who is Canadian, it would only be logical to stop in for a meal prepared by a Chinese American married to a Brit.

It’s a simple one really — just some slicing and a vinaigrette. But perfectly colorful, tasty, and quick enough to allow you time to enjoy some pause amidst the busyness of everyday life.



  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 5-6 varied, fresh heirloom tomatoes
  • 3-4 leaves of basil


Slice the tomatoes into slices 1/4 inch thick. Place them in a single layer on a serving dish, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.

Mix the balsamic vinegar and salt together, until the salt dissolves. Add in olive oil and stir until combined. Grind in some fresh black pepper to taste. Pour over the tomatoes.

Julienne 3-4 leaves of basil and sprinkle over the salad.

Serves 4-6.