Sunday, July 11, 2010

Rosie Makes Tabbouleh.

One of my favorite summer dishes is tabbouleh,
a Middle Eastern dish thought to have originated in Lebanon.
I started with two cups of bulgur wheat.
I poured the bulgur wheat into a large bowl ...
... and poured about 8 cups of boiling water over top.
Cover the bowl and let sit for about 3 hours.
Here's the bulgur after all the water has been absorbed. If there's any extra water, drain it. FYI, 2 cups dry bulgur makes 7 cups cooked.
Rosie's mise en place 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced 1 red onion, peeled, chopped 5 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and juiced juice of two lemons about 1 cup Extra Light Bertolli Olive Oil salt and pepper, to taste 1/2 cup mint, chopped (Oops, not in my mise.) 3/4 cup parsley, chopped (Oops, not in my mise.)
I sliced my lemons ...
... found a couple of dry limes and decided to use a second lemon.
I peeled my cucumber and scraped out the seeds.
And I peeled, seeded, and juiced my tomatoes.
I have nice little piles of diced cucumber,
red onion, and tomatoes.
I slowly added my olive oil into my lemon juice, whisking.
Big pile of mint.
I poured the parsley and mint into the olive oil/lemon mixture ...
... and poured it over the bulgur.
Toss and fluff to mix.
Cukes in.
Red onions in.
Tomatoes in. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Mix well. Scoop and taste test. This is so refreshing. Crisp cucumbers. Fresh tomatoes. Nutty bulgur. Bright mint and parsley. Citrus in the background. Another party in my mouth. I let this sit overnight in the fridge and the next day, it was even better. I ended up with over 8 cups of tabbouleh and decided to use about 2 cups for a twist on tabbouleh. I had recently received the weekly newsletter from Lynne Kasper of The Splendid Table in which she riffed on tabbouleh, and added my beloved garbanzo beans. She also mixed in toasted pine nuts and currants and a few extra spices - cinnamon, allspice, and cayenne. I was a little skeptical on the spices, but in the end, I was won over.
Here are Rosie's ingredients for Tabbouleh Amped up: about 2 cups tabbouleh about 1 cup garbanzo beans I use dried beans, not canned. Rinse the beans and put in a pan of salted water. Bring to a boil. Let boil for about 2 minutes. Cover and turn off heat. After an hour, turn heat back on and simmer until al dente. About 5-10 minutes. These were perfect. I'm not a fan of pine nuts, so I used pecans. I toasted a handful of pecans and roughly chopped them. Instead of currants, I'm using raisins. And I'm trying the cinnamon, allspice, and cayenne.Align Center
I mixed the tabbouleh, the garbanzos, the toasted pecans, and the raisins. And I added about 1/2 tsp. of each spice.
This was very good. I prefer the original tabbouleh, but I liked this for a change. Loved the meatiness of the garbanzos and the pecans. I noticed that the underlying base warmth of the spices tended to override the freshness and brightness of the mint. Here's a caveat: Be judicious in your addition of spices. I thought I was. And I liked my first tastes of this tabbouleh, but it got stronger the second day. If I had it to do over, I'd just spice-to-taste an individual serving and serve it immediately. The spices take on a life of their own if left to their own devices. That's just me and I'm just sayin'.

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