Saturday, August 25, 2007

Tabouleh

I don't have a picture to go with this one, but we all know what tabouleh looks like (though I'm not sure how to spell it--Al, is this right?). It's the perfect recipe for late summer, with the hot weather, ripe tomatoes and cukes, and waning kitchen inspiration. Here's how it goes:

  1. Soak 3/4 or 1 c. bulgur in the juice of one lemon and enough water to cover generously for at least 2 hours, or overnight if you remember. If you don't have time, then put it in a sauce pan, bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and let it soak for 15 min. You can also use any other pre-cooked grain, like quinoa or spelt berries if you're some kind of hippie ;). Drain and squeeze out the bulgur in a fine sieve or cloth.
  2. Chop 1 large tomato, 1 small cucumber (optional), 1/2 red onion or a handful of scallions, all into smallish cubes. If you use red onions, soak the pieces in cold water for a minute before adding. Place in a large serving bowl.
  3. Mince at least 1/2 bunch parsley and a handful of fresh mint (or use 2 tsp dried mint), and add to the bowl.
  4. Squeeze in another lemon (or half--use your judgement), pour over 3 Tbsp. olive oil (or more), and a generous portion of salt--seriously, if you think something is missing you probably need more salt. Season with tiny pinches of cinnamon, allspice, and a ton of black pepper.
  5. Serve with romaine leaves as scoopers.
  6. Other optional ingredients include: a jalapeƱo pepper, powdered sumac (makes it sour), purslane leaves, crushed garlic. I have used cider vinegar and bottled lemon juice when I am out of fresh lemons.
I know the more authentic versions use tons of parsley, but I'm not so keen on it--probably because of the leathery parsley from the store here (I think stuff from the garden would be better). I'm told that my recipe kicks the pants off of the Holy Land version, which I think is much too lemony. Keep in mind: 3/4 c. of bulgur goes a long way, making this a great recipe for potlucks when you don't want to spend much money or make anything laborious. I could eat this stuff all day long. Also, it seems to be a great side with nearly everything.

No comments: