Sunday, July 27, 2008

ModernGear Food: Tabbouleh or not Tabbouleh?


This recipe for Tabbouleh makes a dish that defines the word "fresh". It is salty, zesty, and just bursting with texture and flavour in every bite. I use quinoa (pronounced "keen-wa") instead of bulgur wheat, because it's super good for you and I love the flavour and feel to it - like a wheaty caviar that almost pops when you bite it.

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 cup minced scallions, white and green parts
1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and medium-diced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/4 cup good olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
pinch nutmeg
glass of wine (for you)

1. Drink a sip of wine (repeat throughout for best results. If cooking before 3pm, better make it white).

2. Rinse quinoa to remove powdery residue - place in a fine strainer and hold under cold water until water runs clear; drain well.
3. Cook quinoa...add 2 cups liquid per 1 cup of quinoa. Combine liquid and quinoa in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until the grains are translucent and the germ has spiraled out from each grain. About 15 minutes.

4. While that is cooking, chop chop! Into a large bowl, add chopped scallions, mint, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, salt and pepper, then your olive oil and lemon juice; mix well.

5. When quinoa is done, let it cool for a bit in another bowl. Admire your handiwork.

6. Put veggies into quinoa, and stir them all together. Sprinkle with nutmeg a wee bit, every few stirs. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, and serve or cover and refrigerate. The flavour will improve if the tabbouleh sits for a few hours.

Tabbouleh makes a nice side to traditional Lebanese meat dishes, or I think probably anything you'd want to put beside it - from steak and chicken to lamb, tofu, or fish. We went with BBQ salmon.

Bon App├ętit!

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