Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tabouleh

This story starts at the local IGA, while I was doing our "big" shop, which happens once a fortnight. I had just finished, and passed the "marked down" trolley, which is usually almost or out of date. Of course I have to have a look. I reach in and grab a 59c packet of chips, and a $1.50 bag of burghul. My mind instantly thinks Tabouleh.

I don't really get the opportunity to eat much of it, there is a kebab shop in Centro in Mt Gambier(a town 50km away) that sells it, but it's not often I go there.

We dropped in at Mums yesterday morning. She sells plants she has cultivated, on a small trolley out the front of her house, and asked me if I wanted an Italian Parsley plant. I say no, because I have parsley seedlings coming up like carpet in my neglected veggie plot, which makes me VERY happy. I love fresh parsley. I remembered the burghul I had bought and asked her for some fresh parsley out of her garden, she gave me a shop bag full! Some turnips and carrots, and a bag of watercress came along with it. Last time she gave me watercress I made pesto out of it(with walnuts) and it was great. Mum has a friend who grows it and once in a while she gets a couple of bags.

I washed the parsley, we found two snails, and put them in a bowl for Izzy.

When Brett and I were married the priest gave us a voucher for Target. I shook my head as Brett exchanged it for a George Foreman Slicer, grater, spinner thingy. We've been married nearly 5 years and I've used it a whopping total of 4 times now. It did come in very handy on this occasion to spin the wet parsley. He brought a garlic peeler home from a garage sale a few weeks back, another piece of crap for the cupboard. I'm not one for hoarding so it will end up in the bin at some stage and have shown him since how to bash garlic with a knife to get the skin off.

Isabel and I snipped stalks of parsley, and bagged up two bags for the freezer and a big bowl for the tabouleh. All the while I'm putting snails back in the bowl as they try to escape!

The recipe I used is from a book called 'The history of Australian cooking', another cook book I've picked up from a garage sale. This one came from a sale at the back of the Arno Bay pub a couple of years ago. It has recipes from all over the world in it and the tabouleh recipe is in the Middle Eastern section. The recipe for felafel is there too, which I will be tackling soon as I can use the rest of the burghul in that, and I always have a can of chickpeas in the pantry. I love chick pea salad with cucumber, tomato and fresh herbs.


Burghul and Parsley Salad (Lebanon)
(Tabouleh)
Serves 6-8

3/4 cup burghul                                                      2 Tblsp lemon juice
2 cups cold water                                                   2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped shallots                                        1/2 tsp black pepper
4 cups chopped parsley                                          1/4 tsp mixed spice(optional)
1/4 cup finely chopped mint                                    2 tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil                                                      1 cos lettuce

Soak burghul in cold water for 30 minutes. Drain and press out water with back of a spoon.
Place burghul in a bowl and add shallots. Mix well. Add parsley and mint.
Mix together olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and spice. Add to salad and toss well.
Skin and seed tomatoes, cut into dice and stir into salad. Chill for 1 hour before serving.
Line a platter or salad bowl with lettuce, pile in tabouleh to form a steep mound. Serve as a salad or a filling for sandwiches or pocket bread.

I realise I have no lemons!! Doesn't matter.....I really need to find someone I know with a tree or grow one myself. I'm not about to pack my posse in the car and go out for some. We go out in the garden and pick mint, and lemon thyme, while the burghul is soaking. I always use kitchen scissors to cut up herbs, I find it easier.

It turns out ok, although obviously missing the lemon juice. We have it with baked spuds and snags for tea. Bit boring, but I can't be superwoman everynight!!! :P It made a nice sanga for lunch today with mayo.

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