CQ`S Cooking Tips #2 TABBŪLE Variation


Post by Val the Cookie Queen




Hey Aromatic Friends!

My lunch today. With a side of avocado and grilled mushrooms. Not pictured. :)))

I spend most of the time making and baking cookies these days. That makes it kind of tough on my family as there was a time when they got awesome home cooked meals every day. Fortunately, due to their great upbringing, they all cook for themselves and sometimes even for me! But I still love to prepare food. But I want it to be healthy, quick and damn good. After all, I do have a reputation to keep up.

I love Turkish, Greek and Middle Eastern food. So today boys and girls, we are going to have a tabbouleh inspired dish.

Tabbouleh is arguably, originally from Syria and Lebanon. The Levantine Arabic word “tabbūle” is derived from the Arabic word “taabil” meaning seasoning. Use of the English word first appeared in the 1950s. Useless information fact of the day – the largest recorded dish of tabbouleh weighed in at 4,324 kilos!

I throw together tabbouleh type dishes a lot, no skill needed, unlike baking where it is useful if you have an idea of what you are doing!

how-to-chop-herbs bonappetit.comPhoto Stolen bonappetit.com

Ingredients of the day:

Bulghur, couscous, or Havuçlu Piyale Kuskus* (this is fat round balls of couscous that swell up to be the size of peppercorns – totally cool!)
Feta cheese, or cheese of choice
Tons of chopped basil
Tons of chopped parsley
A good amount of chopped mint
Decent olive oil (if you can afford good perfume, you can afford good oil)
Lemon peel/zest
Lemon juice and/or balsmic vinegar (I use white but red will do)
Freshly ground black pepper
Thin slices of red pinion
Pomegranate molassess*
Tahini* (Use the white)

* get this stuff in a funky supermarket, or a middle eastern grocery store. It´s damn cheap and adds style and fragrance.

Prepare the grain according to whatever instructions are on the box. Traditional tabbouleh uses very little grain and more herbs. But use whatever you want.
Let it cool of course.

Chop the tomatoes, peel, de-seed and chop the cucumber, chop the cheese into chunks, then chuck it all into the bowl with the bulgur or whatever. Add all the chopped herbs, the more the merrier, but if you don´t have many then who cares? When all else fails you can always use dried oregano!! Stir it all up. Add a few good glugs of olive oil, throw in a little lemon zest, add some lemon juice ……… taste it, then add however much vinegar you want. Season with salt and pepper to taste, obviously. Before you serve it, drizzle it with pomegranate molasses. If you have not tried that yet, you must. It is sour and delicious and adds such a wonderful flavour. (It´s good on green salad too, and more …..) My daughter elegantly pours tahini onto everything at the moment. That works too. If you like it, do it. I decorate it with thin slices of red onion, but not too much. Onion breath plus perfume ………… Ugh.

pom molasses maresfoodandfunPhoto Stolen maresfoodandfun

Doesn´t matter if it´s winter or summer. It is always a welcome salad. I made a version for Christmas this year, and we barbecued on the balcony. Winter? Who cares.

So there you go. It is not rocket science. If you are sat there thinking, wow, that sounds nice, then get off your arses and make it. Add it to your repertoire. It never fails to impress. Off you go then.

CQ xxx


19 comments on “CQ`S Cooking Tips #2 TABBŪLE Variation

  1. Amarah says:

    You have a nice Tabouleh style salad going on there! Have you ever tried Fatoush? It’s another Lebanese/Syrian salad with bits of fried Lebanese bread, tomato, spring onion, cucumber, herbs olive oil and Pomegranate molasses. It’s really delicious next to some brown lentil rice and fried onion as garnish. Yumm!!

    • cookie queen says:

      Evening Amarah!

      I have, yes. I just love this kind of food. I have not visited the middle east, but I so want to. A week in Jerusalem would suit me just fine. One day. Yumm indeed. I think I will post a recipe for Labneh next , another great favorite. What do you reckon?? Hugs. xxx

      • Amarah says:

        Mmmm Labneh is delicious! You can always write up a whole Mazah series, why not! I love my Baba Ghanouj 😉 xx

  2. Olfactoria says:

    I will make this tonight, love this style of food (probably because of the no-skills-necessary thing).

    One more thing: You are such a perfect fit at APJ!!! I really enjoy your posts!

    • cookie queen says:

      Hope you love it B. My kids could live off it, which is just as well …… because often they do!
      And, thank you. 🙂 Blush. xxx

  3. Hey there beautiful Val. Birgit is SO right, you ARE a perfect fit here at APJ. This looks too good, I will await a sunny weekend when the crew is here and unveil my newest culinary delight, I will give you full credit and say we made it together.
    Can’t wait to read about your UK trip, are there oodles of photos? Can we do a Photo Essay?
    Portsa xx

    • cookie queen says:

      I can hardly take any credit for tabbouleh. And you don´t need to wait for sunshine. And I adore you. Am writing the trip up ………. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  4. Undina says:

    Great recipe! I like everything (but onion 😉 ). Will make it this week – thank you!

    • cookie queen says:

      I hardly ever use it. I love it but not the breath that about 95% of onions leave behind! Although chewing fresh parsley helps alleviate the problem to a certain extent. You´ll love it, it is sooo delicious. Nice to see you. Sorry I didn´t see you in Vienna. 😦 xxxx

  5. Jackieb says:

    Thank you for this recipe, at last I know what to do with the mounds of parsley in my garden! Oh, and labneh next please, I love this type of food.

    • cookie queen says:

      Brilliant! Chop it very very finely, especially if it is not flat leaf! Labneh it is. Have a nice day or evening, whatever tiime zone you may be in!!
      Love, CQ

  6. poodle says:

    I love tabbouleh. I almost have enough parsley out in the garden to make some. I bet the pomegranate molasses really adds something to it. Must try it that way.

    • cookie queen says:

      Hi Poodle 🙂

      Yep, it does. Pomegranate molassases is great. Check the labels on the bottles, and get the one with the better ingredients. Some of the cheaper ones leave an aftertaste – too much citric acid I reckon. Victoria at Bois de Jasmin wrote a great piece on the stuff.


      • poodle says:

        I’ve made my own in the past but it’s a bit of a pain in the you know what to boil down the juice for that long. At the time no stores around me had it so I had no option. Now I do have a store that sells it.

  7. solanace says:

    Beautiful. This not only meets your requirements, being healthy, quick and delicious, but is also cheap, which is not always easy to achieve along with the former. Even with the good oil. I think a good olive oil makes it easy to make a nice meal with a (good) tomato or a bunch of herbs, some starch and a pinch of salt, so it is actually good value. This is my kind of food, and Claudia Roden’s book is the best I know. It’s the kind of book that has an entire chapter on stuffed vegetables. Do you know it?

    • cookie queen says:

      Hi Solance!
      I know of her, she is quite an icon. Now you have given me a kick to order a new book. I have always cooked, but not too much from recipe books. Although that is not quite true I guess. When I lived in Amsterdam I used the Moosewood cookbooks for inspiration.
      Ordering as I write, just digging out the plastic from my purse!! Cheers for checking in. Love, Val xxx

  8. Tonia says:

    Yum Yum YUM! is all I have to say. xo

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