Slow Pacing on the Farm with Squash & Bulgur Gratin

Not much new to add by way of farm work.

It has rained, a lot. Last night (or morning?) we awoke to the beloved cat tromping around on our roof, meowing and, from the sound of things, performing a Native American stomp dance.

We let the cat on a cold, rainy tin roof inside to sleep.

These are my friends

One grey day we made some bread. This is something John did often in Wyoming but never could get quite right due to the altitude. Another thing he was doing wrong, apparently, was not using bread flour.

These loaves were beautiful. To check for doneness, we used the tried-and-true method of knocking on the bottom of the loaf to listen for a hollow sound. If so, the bread is done. Bam!

Annick also made a great zucchini casserole dish that I thought I would share since it uses bulgur.

I was sad to leave a completely full bag of bulgur behind in Wyoming—it’s so cheap and filling, but it’s one of those things that if you don’t have the perfect recipe to get you motivated, you just don’t want to mess with it. Even despite the fact that to prepare it, you can literally just let it soak in water. There really aren’t many foods that are easier to prepare, unless you’re doing something like cutting up an apple.

This was one of those motivation-inducing recipes, however.

Using just zucchini, bulger, grated cheese, and some spices, I suspect that the total cost of making this dish is somewhere between 3-4 dollars. And it goes far. I think that I’ll throw in a bit more variety when I make it, though…so feel free to alternate the zucchini slices with yellow squash, spinach, cauliflower, and/or tomato, especially on the top layer.

squash and bulgur
Squash & Bulgur Gratin

  • 10 oz bulgur(about 1 1/3 cup)
  • 4 oz Emmental Swiss cheese (can sub Gruyere or Comté), freshly grated
  • 2 medium zucchinis and/or squash, cut into moons about as thick as a no. 2 pencil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, quartered and julienned
  • 1 heirloom tomato, sliced to similar sizes as zucchini rounds
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp curry
  • 1/8 tsp tumeric (sub curry if you don't have tumeric)
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • EVOO
  • Salt & pepper to taste

  • Directions
    Preheat oven to 425 degrees, butter a 9x13 baking dish

    Sauté the onions in about ​​1 tbs EVOO until soft & translucent (about 5 mins), then add zucchini rounds & spices and sauté an additional 5 minutes.

    Cook bulgur according to package directions, but remove from heat about 3-5 minutes early while bulger is still "al dente," (it will soften up in the oven with the juices from the squash). Drain if necessary.

    Grate the chese and mix it with the mint.

    Spread half of the bulgur on the bottom of the baking dish and top with half a layer of squash/onion mixture, then sprinkle 1-2 oz. of the cheese. Add the rest of the bulgur. Atop this, make one column of the squash/onion mixture, then one column of tomatoes, alternating like the stripes on a flag, for example (but with vertical stripes).

    Add the rest of the grated Swiss to make a nice thick cheesy layer.

    Drizzle EVOO all over the top, and sprinkle some salt and pepper for good measure.

    Bake for 10-15 minutes, until cheese is golden & browned at the edges. Broil for 2-3 minutes at the end if you like things really crispy

    The Savings: With bulgur weighing in at less than $2 per pound, you've spent a little more than ONE dollar on the main ingredient for this recipe! People practically give away squash and tomatoes when in-season, but they cost very little year-round. You can feed a crowd on next to nothing with this recipe!

    I'll leave you with a few images of what John and I have been encountering over here besides casseroles and bread...

    french strawberries
    Umm, I'm gonna steal this off the window ledge even though I can just have it without stealing
    Tomato planting...aren't we cute.
    french apple pie
    apple pie (not pictured: the fresh strawberry
     jam/syrup we added)
    Annick aside homemade pear liquor--they do
    this  by putting the bottle around the
    pear when it's small
    Thierry teaching John about the ways of
    French grilling

    These were a couple of the boys during lunch
    ::photography gold::
    freshly cracked walnuts. of course they taste better this way.

    Soon we're headed off to the big city of Leon for a couple of nights...stay tuned!


    1. Is John trying to cook those wieners with his eyes?

      I was always curious as to how they did the pear thing. Does the pear just swell up by absorbing the liquor?

    2. chris, a pear isn't like one of those toys that you drop in water and it triples in size. You prop the bottle up somehow in the tree so that the pear grows naturally, then you take it off and put the liquor in. yayyyy.

    3. Hi Meggan !!
      And what about your hairs ???
      Please, post a photo when you'd cut it all...
      Thierry of St Savin

    4. haha, you will find out about THAT very soon!

      1. Hi Gipsy and John!
        where are you now ?
        and about the photo with no hairs ? You wrote "very soon", but...
        Your blog is a good way to follow you.




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