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  • Written by Madelaine Bullwinkel

Lentils with figatellu


4 Servings:  8 oz. lentils; 3 fresh thyme stems; 1 bay leaf; 2 oz. smoked bacon; 4 oz .figatellu (dried, smoked pork liver sausage); olive oil; 1 onion; 1 clove garlic; 1 tablespoon tomato paste; 4 oz. red wine; salt and pepper

Lentils:  Rinse the lentils before simmering them with thyme and bay leaf in water to cover by 3 cm. for 20 minutes. 

Sauce:  Heat a film of oil in a heavy pot with diced bacon, sliced pork sausage and diced onion.  When the onion has softened, add a crushed and peeled clove of garlic, the tomato paste, wine and an equal amount of water.

Remove the herbs from the lentils and spoon them into the pot with the sausage.  Add enough cooking water to cover the mixture by 2 cm. and simmer another 30 minutes. Season to taste.

  • Written by Madelaine Bullwinkel


Ingredients for 4 large cakes:


12 ounce can organic refried black beans ("no BPA" on label)


1/2 teaspoon ground cumin


1/2 teaspoon mild chili powder


1/4 teaspoon sea salt


1/2 jalapeno chili, seeded and minced


2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced


1 tablespoon salad oil



  • Turn beans out into a mixing bowl. Work in the cumin, chili powder, salt and fresh chili. Fold in the cilantro. Reserve.



  • Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet. Scoop out four patties with an ice cream scoop or pat out rounded balls between sheets of wax paper. Saute the cakes on each side for 1 -2 minutes.



  • Serve with desired topping.




  • Written by Madelaine Bullwinkel

Tabbouleh Salad with Parsley



Ingredients for 4 servings:


2 cups boiling water

1 cup coarse bulgar (cracked wheat)

1 /3 cup toasted pine nuts

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 cup finely minced fresh parsley



Microwave:  Bring water to a boil on full power in a quart container, about 4 minutes.  Pour in the cracked wheat.  Microwave another minute.  Let the container cool for 15-20 minutes.  Transfer wheat into a strainer lined with cheesecloth and squeeze out any remaining liquid.

Cooktop: Bring water to boil in a quart saucepan.  Pour in the wheat and cook until mixture boils, 1 minute or so.  Let sit in the saucepan for 15-20 minutes.  Transfer wheat into a strainer lined with cheesecloth and squeeze out any remaining liquid.

Toast the pine nuts in a 350 degree oven for 7 minutes, or saute them in a tablespoon of olive oil until they are lightly browned.  Set them aside to cool.

Stir the salt with the lemon juice in a serving bowl.  Whisk in the remaining olive oil.  Turn the bulgar into the bowl and toss the dressing.  Fold in the nuts and herbs.  Serve at room temperature.








  • Written by Madelaine Bullwinkel

Cracked Wheat and Shrimp Salad





1-1/2 cups finely cut bulgur wheat

1/2 pound tiger shrimp

Poaching broth: 5 cloves garlic, sliced; 1 tablespoon olive oil; 3/4 cup white wine

2 cups water

10 small cherry or pear tomatoes, quartered

1 cup watercress, tender stems only

1/2 cup hothouse cucumber, seeded and diced

½ cup scallions, trimmed, halved lengthwise 1” into the green, sliced

12 large mint leaves, minced

2 tablespoons Italian parsley, minced

Dressing: 1/4 cup flavorful olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

½ cup feta cheese, crumbled



Bulgur: Place the cracked wheat in mixing bowl lined with cheesecloth and cover with 3 cups boiling water.  Let the grain steep for 20-30 minutes, until most of the moisture has been absorbed and the grain is tender.  Lift the grain out of the bowl by gathering together the edges of the cheesecloth liner.  Gather, twist, and squeeze remaining moisture in the grain through the cheesecloth.  Turn the wheat into a bowl and reserve.


Shrimp: While the grain is steeping, saute the sliced garlic in a large skillet for 1 minute.  Add the wine and water and bring to a simmer.  Rinse the shrimp and add to the garlic broth.  When the liquid is almost at a simmer again and the shrimp has begun to turn color, turn off the heat, turn over the shrimp and let them cool in the broth.  When cool enough to touch, remove the shell


Assembly: Add the tomato, watercress, cucumber, scallion, mint and parsley ingredients to the wheat salad and toss to mix.  Drizzle on the oil and toss well.  Repeat with the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serving: Divide salad among plates or spread on a platter.  Divide the shrimp among the servings or arrange over the salad on a platter. Scatter on the feta cheese pieces and serve.

  • Written by Madelaine Bullwinkel

Black Bean Cakes with Sour Cream





1- 12 ounce package black beans (3 cups cooked)

1 slice bacon

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons mild chili powder

1 small hot pepper, seeds removed, minced

1/3 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

vegetable oil

Assembly and Garnish:

1/2 cup sour cream

8 whole stems and cilantro leaves


Cakes:  Rinse and pick over the beans.  Combine in a saucepan with bacon and pour in water to cover by 1".  Simmer the beans for 1 hour or until soft.  Drain and let the beans cool, saving 1/2 cup of cooking liquid.


Mash the beans adding water as needed to make a stiff batter-like consistency.  Stir in the cumin, chili powder, hot pepper, chopped cilantro pieces and salt.


Divide the bean mixture into small 8 balls.  Flatten them into 1/8" thick patties between sheets of wax paper patties.


Heat a 12" skillet with a film of oil.  When quite hot, add patties and brown on both sides turning once.  Keep warm while the others are cooked.


Serving: Serve individual cakes as an appetizer with 1 tablespoon of sour cream, some salsa and a sprig of cilantro.


Yield: 8 servings


This recipe is adapted from  Jeremiah Tower's New American Classics (Harper and Row, 1986).