Sunday, 20 May 2012
Tabbouleh. Bless you!
J....u.......u.....s....s....t a little bit annoyed with the grey weather, the not-exciting -enough-to-be-a-proper-storm wind and drizzle. Had been hoping against hope - the weathermen can be wrong sometimes - we might have a bit of sunshine, so mentally planned for a salad of some kind for supper tonight. Well, tough. That's what we're having.
So it's going to be a kinda tabbouleh. I call it that because the purists would baulk at the stock I moisten it with, and probably the extra virgin olive oil. And the four very fat garlic cloves crushed into the oil mmmmmm! All this goes in while the tabbouleh is still steaming, but with the stock fully absorbed into the grains.
Lid goes on....would be best of all if it rested gently in the fridge overnight but I haven't got time. Couple of hours will do the trick. Can I just say here, in contradiction to many cookery books which really should know better : you do NOT have to cook couscous! The heat of the stock/boiling water which you add will steam it soft if you cover it with a plate, or cling-film. But you SHOULD give bulghur wheat a flash in the microwave once the liquid goes in. I've read recipes where they say moisten with COLD water and cover to let the grains swell. Well, I'm afraid I wouldn't like to trust my teeth on a mouthful of unsteamed bulghur wheat! No sirree! It's like tiny bits of gravel for heaven's sake. No, add stock to cover, pop lid on and microwave for a couple of minutes, that'll do the trick.
Meanwhile off I trot down the garden path to cut mint - plenty of that and it's doing really well this year. Parsley, hmmm parsley is sparsley (giggle to self) so will make up deficit with some lovage - there's loads of that. And some chives.
As I'm chopping I'm furiously trying to think who famously said "parsley is gharsley" but it's gone. Google to the rescue. AH! Ogden Nash! Sheesh! All that for a sentence in a blog-post!
It's amazing how a large bunch of herbs chops down to this little pile, isn't it? I'd put double the amount in usually, as tabbouleh should be a mass of green dotted with pearls of white couscous, not t'other way round. No matter, it'll taste absolutely fabulous, dahlinks!
Gratuitous piccie of J's arm, a knife and a dead fish (sorry, veggie friends) which was swimming about happily til about 3 hours ago. Mmm, I love trout.
The tabbouleh will be accompanied by a salad of leaves, cucumber, tomato, avocado and tarted up with mozzarella balls, roast peppers, sundried toms and olives care of the local supermarche'. Oh and some chunks of chorizo and salami. My, what a international feast this is turning out to be! Bit of a hotch-potch, if you ask me, but we shall enjoy it, with a glass or so of some rosy vino.
Last episodes - I think - of The Bridge tonight, we'll watch the first hour then we 'll be skypeing. The time difference when our clocks go back / forward always throw us out for a get together at a decent hour with the Kiwis. It'll be 10pm here for us, but 9am Sunday for them. Have to give them time to get up and breakfast on the go, often one or other adult has been on night shift so they have to get home and showered. Still it is a Godsend being able to see them regularly, I don't know what I'd do without it now we use it so often.A two-hour skype brings it up to midnight here.........
Oooops, silly me, I had meant to photograph the salad and the finished meal.....doh! Too late, it's gone...you'll have to take my word for it that it looked - and tasted - great. As you've realised by the change of tense, the previous bit was written last night and now it's Sunday morning. Lazy breakfast, then we are picking my mum up (no, not off the floor) to take her out to lunch with some old friends of ours. So a silver lining to this yet-again grey day. Hope your Sunday is brighter than those dreary skies.