Sunday, October 08, 2006

how does that work?

For Andreas, aka Buddha, in Sweden. I'll be curious to know which of the ingredients are/aren't available in Sweden.

My youngest daughter claims that every time I make tabouli, it tastes the same. I can't figure that out, because, as I noted before, I often use very different ingredients. The basics are the same, but the veggies, herbs and other seasonings vary.

Variation on Tabouli (or Tabbouleh) -- sounds like it might be a musical composition, but it's not ;) -- this composition is supposed to be enjoyed with the gustatory sense, not the auditory one!

Pour boiling water over cracked wheat (bulgur and/or couscous), about 2 parts water to 1 part grain, in a heat-proof bowl and cover. (I sometimes use half bulgur and half couscous to a total amount of about 1 cup.) Let this sit for about 20 min to 1 hr to allow the grain to absorb the water. (couscous alone takes 5 min or less) Meanwhile:

Chop fine lots of flat-leaf parsley (about 4 cups, more or less, depending on how much you have on hand), fresh mint 1/2 cup, fresh lovage, fresh cilantro, etc. This can be quite loose, as I tend to like less of the green stuff in proportion to the grain than the traditional recipe calls for.

I usually use cilantro, parsley and mint in this. Lovage does change the minty-ness to a licorice- like taste a little, which I like just fine!

Chop 1 bunch scallions, with some of the green parts, or any other onion, about 1/2 to 1 cup chopped onion. I also add a finely chopped clove or two of garlic.

Chop 3 ripe tomatoes, seeded (again, I left this out.) I often chop some cucumber, sweet red pepper, celery or radishes into this as well. Most recipes for tabouli don't include them, but I toss in a drained can of chick peas.

For the dressing, I usually whisk together about 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, some champagne vinegar or herbal vinegar, and about 6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil. I season this with some toasted ground cumin seed, about 2 tsp, some ground dried hot peppers, about 1/4 tsp, some paprika, about 1/2 tsp, and some black pepper and sea salt to taste. The lemon should sing in this recipe. Again, most recipes do not include the cumin and the peppers.

I toss all the herbs, veggies and seasoning into the now moist grain with the dressing, taste again for salt and lemon, and serve. This recipe makes lots, but it does keep well for days, covered, in the fridge; but I usually add a squeeze or two of fresh lemon juice to wake it up again before serving.


Anonymous Andreas said...

Hi Kati,

Well, the ingredients are available in Sweden of course but in order to get some stuff you need to go to an oriental store. Most stuff however can be found in the local supermarket. Couscous can be everywhere but bulgur is harder to find, at least in my small village.. Actually you won't find bulgur here where I live. I have to go a few miles to a larger town in order to find it.
The thing is that I've checked so many tabbouleh recipies but non doesn't even remotely seem to be the same as I ate in the US. I have a friend who''s from Lebanon and he asked me a few times if I wanna come over for some tabbouleh but I never had the time. He says it should be eaten in leafs of salad. You take a salad leaf and then put the tabbouleh in it and that's it..
Anyway, now I got really hungry and I think I might just have to g on a shopping spree and make a tabbouleh from your recipe.



11:22 p.m.  
Blogger Kati said...

That's odd that cracked wheat isn't available, isn't it? I could understand if "toasted cracked wheat" is unavailable. That's all bulgur is, just another name for cracked wheat (vs ground wheat).

1:31 p.m.  

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