1 C green or beluga lentils, rinsed & picked over (for stones); (I used French green lentils from Whole Foods bulk section).
1 small onion, cut in half
2-3 garlic cloves, slightly crushed
1 bay leaf
Sea salt to taste
1 C fine or medium bulgur (I used Bob's Red Mill Quick Cooking)
4 scallions, thinly sliced (I used more onion)
4-6 radishes, thinly sliced (I didn't have so used carrots instead)
1 C finely chopped fresh parsley
2-4 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
1/3 C fresh lemon juice
1 tsp cumin seeds, lightly toasted & ground (too much trouble so I just used ground)
1/2 C extra virgin olive oil (TOO MUCH OIL! I just added 1 tbsp at a time until it was the wet consistency that I like--I hate dripping salads)
1. Combine lentils, onions, garlic & bay leaf in a medium saucepan and add 2-3 C water, enough to cover by an inch or two. Bring to a boil, add salt to taste, reduce heat, cover & simmer 25 minutes until lentils are tender but still intact. Remove from heat. The instructions said to remove & discard the onion, garlic, & bay leaf. I kept the onions and garlic to eat but composted the bay leaf. Drain lentils and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, while lentils are cooking, place bulgur in a medium heatproof bowl, and add a little salt. Cover with 2 C boiling hot water and allow to sit for 20-25 minutes or until most of the water is absorbed and bulgur in soft. Drain well.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine lentils, bulgur, scallions, radishes, parsley, and mint and mix well. At this point, I just added the lemon juice, oil to consistency, cumin, salt, and freshly ground pepper. Toss well. Allow to absorb flavors, about an hour or overnight. Serves six.
**Most people remember Gloria Estefan for her pop hits of the 80s, but I've always loved her few Spanish albums, especially Mi Tierra. As a Cuban, this album transports me to my childhood and my beloved grandparents, Tata & Titi, and spending weekends at their cozy little house in Allen Park. They'd prepare all my favorite foods, I'd share in their everyday errands, and we'd watch their favorite Spanish shows on Univision, especially Sabado Gigante (Giant Saturday), a silly variety show with a flamboyant host, Don Francisco. They enjoyed this album very much and it really has an old-fashioned acoustic Spanish feel to it. My favorite song on this album is "Con Los Anos Que Me Quedan." Every time I hear it, I think of my grandmother, Antonia Cartamil Almaguer.