After a month (really?) in our new home, we finally feel like we’re settling in. We’ve painted almost every room in the house, hung new lighting in almost every room, finished a bathroom renovation, and most importantly for me–finished a kitchen renovation (better pics to follow). (And PS, if you ever renovate a kitchen, let me save you some trouble with your appliance/hardware source list…)
We love the hardworking kitchen counters (leathered granite)–so much better than our past poorly sealed concrete counters that bubbled up at the suggestion of water–and I love the light that streams in through the windows during the day.
Our little garden has also taken off, and it has been great to come home after work and weed, haul dirt, and mow. Like yoga, hard manual labor in the yard is a great segway between work and computer time during the day, and the rest of the evening. It forces you to stop. Stop thinking. Just do stuff and enjoy the smells and sounds of the outdoors (including a neighborhood mockingbird that mimics an alarm clock. Seriously. And starts chirping at 2 am. But that’s another story.)
I’m still getting the hang of what to plant in our raised beds. The arugula did well for about a month, but then quickly bolted, so last night I bit the bullet and trimmed off the woody leftovers for pesto and pulled them out by the roots to fill that space with something new. I’m thinking okra, which is perfect for hot weather planting and grilling, but I’m open to suggestions.
As you may know, it is my feeling that there’s little that isn’t made tastier by arugula pesto and a poached egg. So here’s an impromptu dinner made last night with the last of the garden’s arugula (until fall), and other bits and pieces in the fridge. I made this recipe with walnut arugula pesto, but you can see in the past I’ve also made arugula pesto with pumpkin seeds.
Bulgar with Arugula Pesto, Beet Stems, & Poached Egg
- 1 very large bunch arugula
- 1/2 C. walnuts
- juice of two lemons
- 1/4 C. olive oil + 1 Tb. olive oil, divided
- salt and peper
- 1 bunch of beet greens and stems, cleaned well, and chopped fine
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 C. bulgar
- 2 eggs
- 1/8 C. feta cheese
Bring a kettle of water to a boil and pour over the bulgar in a large ceramic bowl, just covering the grains with water. Cover the bowl with a ceramic plate or plastic wrap and cook in the microwave for four minutes.
In the meantime, make your pesto. Make sure the arugula is well-rinsed and toss it in the food processor. Pulse it until it is chopped. Add in the walnuts, lemon juice, and a bit of salt and blend. With the motor going, slowly drizzle in the 1/4 C. olive oil till emulsified. Taste for salt, and then set aside.
Heat 1 Tb. olive oil in a pan, and add the garlic. Cook 30 seconds, or until fragrant and then add the beet greens and stems. Season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
While the greens/stems are cooking, toss the bulgar with the arugula pesto, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
To poach the eggs, either do it on the stove, or as with my favorite method, pull out a mug. Fill 3/4 full with water. Add 1 tsp. cider or white vinegar. Crack a raw egg into the mug and then microwave the egg and water/vinegar for 1 minute. Pull the mug out and drain the cooked egg. Cook the next egg in the same manner. If you’d rather, you can instead soft boil or fry the eggs.
Place some of the pesto bulgar in a bowl and top with the sautéed greens and stems. Top that with a cooked egg, and then sprinkle with feta. Serve with Aleppo pepper flakes or harissa, and enjoy. There should be plenty of bulgar leftovers for a lunch salad the next day.