Sunday, 20 May 2012

Tabbouleh. Bless you!

                              Actually will probably dollop a bit more oil into this.

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.

                                     Oooh sorry, dreadful photo. Basic ingredients.

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.

                                       Just enough stock to cover 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.

                                Pop a plate on top and leave to steam in its own heat.

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.

                                                       I do love these herby shots!

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 finished dish.

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'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.


  1. Hello Lynne
    I adore tabbouleh and feel inspired to make some this week after reading and seeing your delicious pictures! Thank you too for your heart felt comments on my blog, it really is good to "meet" you. I was reading your previous post about "warts and all" in finding your blogging voice and it's a funny old space the land of blog. I definitely believe in doing it for yourself and no one else and if you get comments then it's a bonus. I have started asking the odd question and feel a little silly about this ... what if no-one answers??? I do enjoy the dialogue between like minded people and learning and being inspired by so many talented people out there. Lets hope for some more salad days this week xox Penelope

  2. Penelope, lovely to hear from you. Yes, that's exactly why I comment more than I used to, and it does make all the difference when people answer the various questions in your post. I've decided I enjoy blogging for its own sake; I love writing, and its a bit like having your own little column in a paper, isn't it? Except no-one can sack you for not toe-ing the party line!

    Carry on posing your questions, and writing for yourself. Eventually you meet like-minded people and it goes around. I love it! And I'm quite happy not to be constrained about my blog-topics.

    Enjoy your tabbouleh! I recommend twice as much garlic though.........

  3. Arfa appreciated the fishy pic! Have got the Edrica Huws book- superb. Look fwd to more intersting chat.
    Arfa & Y

  4. Had no idea you had this book Yvonne. It is so beautiful, isn't it? I'd love to try one of these pictures but I think needle turning all those edges would drive me mad - free-machining the raw edges for me, I think!

  5. Hello Lynne
    Thank you for visiting my blog. I like your blog. Pity your so far away as your music sounds great.

  6. Christine, hello! Yes, it's a bit of a hike, isn't it? We try and visit my son and his family in New Zealand every other year but oh! That journey, 27 hours steerage is no joke!

    I'm not a brilliant fiddler but get by and love to whoop it up in a session. My melodeon is relatively new but I think I'm going to be a better box player than fiddler. I now have a super young tutor who is bringing me on by leaps and bounds. Love it.

    Do let me know what you ended up calling your bike.....I was tickled to think a bike with a maker's name of Electra, would be called....ELECTRA! With her own psychological complex to boot! But you see, it's that warped sense of humour again!


  7. Hi Lynne, thanks for popping in and saying hello, and yes your right there is no hope for us fabric obessed crafty types is there! Ebay was quite good for the mollie makes mags i go in fits and starts with listing things as it does take time but it is nice when you have extra pennies to spend in your paypal account too :)Your blog looks really interesting so i'm off to have a real good look around, have you done much crazy patchwork as this is what i'd love to have a go at, i have several books out of the library at the moment but just need more hours in the day to read them!!! have a great week take care xx

  8. Hi Tracy. I have done some crazy patchwork - I used to make bags and highly embellish the patchwork - I never ever made a crazy quilt. I did teach a workshop years ago, if I can find them I'll put some photos up of the bags. The book mentioned in my sidebar is beautiful - Judith Montano Baker is a very talented lady and she has written some great books on the subject.


I'd love you to comment, maybe join in the conversation - I always try and reply if I can.Anonymous spammers take note: you will not be published. Genuine posters having difficulty will be accepted. Thanks so much for visiting!