I love to find new, easy cooking techniques. While testing a bulgur-salad recipe in Aglaia Kremezi's new cookbook, Mediterranean Hot and Spicy (May 2009), I found a new way to prepare bulgur. Usually bulgur is a quick-cooking grain, which is great, but sometimes you want to make a meal where you don't turn on your stove. Kremezi makes her bulgur salad by soaking dry bulgur in a bowl of cool water for 20 to 30 minutes, until it becomes tender. I filled a bowl with water and added the bulgur, and 30 minutes later, the bulgur was ready to be drained and mixed with nuts, herbs and a light dressing. In preparing for the warmer weather (I'm counting down the days!) I will try this technique to keep my small apartment kitchen cool.

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