Post by Val the Cookie Queen
COOKIE QUEEN`S INFREQUENT COOKING TIPS No 2
VARIATION ON A TABBŪLE THEME
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!
Photo 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 juice and/or balsmic vinegar (I use white but red will do)
Freshly ground black pepper
Thin slices of red pinion
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.
Photo 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.