Where I work, there are only refridgerators, nothing else. That means what I bring for lunch must be okay cold or room temperature. Sounds limiting but somehow I find a way. Today, I packed a nice mix of bulgar wheat, sauteed eggplant, pistachios, basil and goat cheese. Everything is really simple and the beauty of it is you can add whatever combo of veggies, herbs or cheese you would like. Be creative!
Henry's Market had decent sized eggplants on sale for $.99 each, I used half of one for dinner last night and while I still had the pan out, I sauteed the other half for today's lunch. Bulgar wheat is a wonderfully nutty grain that I buy in bulk when it's on sale. It's a great staple. Right now at Trader Joe's you can buy a ginormous basil plant for $2.99, it's the gift that keeps giving all summer long. To mean, basil tastes like summer. Mmmm!
1 cup bulgar wheat
1/2 of an eggplant (approx. 1/2 lb.) cubed into 1-inch sections
1 to 2 garlic cloves minced
A splash of olive oil
a handful of pistachios
7 medium sized basil leaves, chiffonaded
2 to 3 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled (I used Cypress Grove's chevre log)
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a small pot. Add the bulgar wheat and season with salt. Bring to a boil and cook for five minutes. Remove from heat and fluff bulgar with a fork. Let stand, covered for 10 minutes or until bulgar is tender. Let cool. (It doesn't have to be totally cooled, we have things to do!)
Meanwhile, in a sauce pan, saute the eggplant and garlic in a splash of olive oil. You're going to have to eye-ball the eggplant to see if more oil is necessary. If it's looking a little dried out, give it quick splash. Remember you can always add more but you're stuck if you add too much. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the sauteed eggplant, goat cheese, pistachios and basil to the cooked bulgar wheat. Mix it all up so the flavors get to know each other better and check for seasoning. You'll probably need to add salt and pepper to taste.
Pack it up and go!