20 April 2008

Tabbouleh a la Paula

Is it Christmas? Yesterday those were the first words that I heard in the morning. I ventured out to run some errands and I was even more convinced that this was the truth. There was a very thin man dressed in a Santa suit on Highway 97 with a sign that said STOP WINTER and shaking his fist at the sky (Santa could have lost a few pounds since Christmas without all those Christmas goodies...couldn't he?). Everyone that drove by through the falling snow (who had removed their snow tires over a month ago), were right there with him in spirit shaking their fist at the sky. This photo is courtesy of our local web site. It is a way to get your picture in the paper...don't you think? I wonder if he did it on a bet and lost?

I guess we can't really be angry about things we have no control over...and the weather is just one of those things. We want to live in the "Great White North", we are bound to see a bit of the white stuff. A tiny island in the Agean Sea off the coast of Greece would be my first choice for living the idealic life right about now. Make room for me now sis...wink...wink... I guess I just have to get over it...sigh...

Serves me right you say for gloating for the past month while my family back East has been digging out from under the snowbanks and I have been wearing shorts and tees? The good thing is it didn't last and Christmas was soon over in April. We are back to sunshine and blue skies...(insert picture of Val with fingers and toes crossed here)

The thing is my mind refuses to digress and go back to winter comfort foods. No soups, no stews for this Canadian lass. When life hands you lemons make tabbouleh!!!!!!

This is not my regular version, but, Spring is the time to try new things on for size. If it doesn't fit I will recycle it. This is a recipe from Paula Wolfert. The spices make this version of this Lebanese classic special. It is important to use good olive oil and lots of fresh lemon juice. You can make it one day, store it in the fridge overnight, toss and serve the next day. It has always been the perfect picnic food!!! No mayo, nothing to spoil on those hot summer days at the beach. I still prefer to use dried mint in mine, and a minimum amount of parsley but this is a matter of personal preference.

Paula Wolfert is a resident of San Francisco and one of the biggest advocates of Mediterranean foods with 5 award winning cookbooks under her belt.

**Tabbouleh a la Paula Wolfert**

2/3 cup fine grain bulgur wheat
8 scallions, finely sliced
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, shredded
1/2 cup fresh sorrel leaves, shredded (optional)
2 cups flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 medium cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded, and finely diced
3/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

Pick over the bulgar and place in a fine seive; shake to remove any dust and place in cold water to soak briefly.

In a good sized mixing bowl, combine the scallions, herbs, cucumber, spices, oil and lemon juice.
Drain the bulgar and squeeze by hand to remove any moisture.

Immediately add to the bowl and mix well.

Add salt to taste,Place chopped tomatoes on top, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Before serving, mix in tomatoes and additional salt if needed.

Serves 6

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  1. Tabbouleh is my favourite salad and it is the healthiest, amongst all the other healthy salads. However, I love the other one so much I am not sure I would like to add all those spices in it. I think I'll stick to the classic one this time:-)

  2. I feel the same way Val, nothing is going to come in the way with making wonderful spring salads despite the bit of cold we had the past few days! Your tabbouleh sounds great and I like the spices used in it.

  3. I love tabbouleh, but mine is never authentic as I always replace the parsley. I'm just not that keen on it. This version looks really yummy.

  4. I just heard a radio interview with Paula describing a fermented buuter in Morroco. It sounded really good. I need to look into more of her books, as shes has just been a faint name to me before.
    As for the weather, patience. This to shall pass.

  5. Val...dateline...Apr.19th...Sunday, 4PM-ish...sunny, with a few clouds and the Temp. from Pearson Int'l is 24C!

    This salad screams to be eaten with some grilled lamb.

  6. Tabbouleh is my favourite salad for picnic as well sis. It is delicious with or without the spices:D
    I will not take a step backwards either Pixie:D
    I don't enjoy a lot of parsley in my tabbouleh, although I know that is the authentic way to serve it Sylvie:D
    I just sort of came across Paula as well Glamah:D As far as the weather goes it has already passed and headed your way:D
    Your time to gloat Peter...I know...but it has already passed.It would definitely be great with lamb ...maybe lamb lollipops:D

  7. Love the photos, both of them. And love tabbouleh too.

  8. I've never had tabbouleh before, but I've always wanted to try it. I think it looks terrific.

    Hopefully you'll have good weather from now on. I think you will.

  9. It must be so frustrating at times when the weather is supposed to be warming up but there seems to be no sign of it doing so.

  10. Just think good thoughts and the weather will change!..LOL. (that Santa pic is hilarious!).

    Great salad Val. So refreshing with the mint and lemon juice.

  11. Oh your tabbouleh recipe has far less parsley than mine does and way more spices. I may have to give yours a try because I'm killing my parsley plant by pruning it so heavily! (And I'm curious about all those spices!)

  12. Instead of the sorrel leaves (which are just starting to come up in my garden, but aren't quite ready for harvest yet), I've made this with some minced preserved lemon rind.

  13. I'm also not a fan of parsley, but loves mint in my tabbouleh. This looks like one refreshing salad.

  14. Hmm, the sorrel is an interesting touch. It should be very seasonal, if only I could find some!

    As for the weather, all I can say is: "mwahahahah!!!" *Looks around nervously and knocks wood.*

  15. Just love the sound of your tabbouleh Val!! All those wonderful spices make it such a winner :)

    Rosie x

  16. Now this is one helluva flavourful salad Val...sadly difficult to find bulgar here; but am determined to find some. Sounds good to me!! Weather will come & go, good food is here to stay!!! Cheers!!

  17. Oh wow, well I for one am happy winter (crossing fingers with you) seems to be over here too...however just more than a week ago we still had it here, then suddenly summer came, skipping spring altogether.

    Your salad sounds wonderful, I love refreshing, summery foods!

  18. I love Tabbouleh so much and this recipe sounds great. The spices that you have used really shake it up a bit!

  19. This tabbouleh sounds good. I am going to have to try a tabbouleh with spices like allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg.

  20. Val it does look like a spring time dish! Never tasted before but with all the lemons must be so refreshing!!!

    That man in Santa's outfit is soooooo funny!!!! Thank god you are back to sunshine :D

  21. Tabbouleh looks so fresh and healthy!!! I have so many things to try... I don't think I'll live enough to eat all these wonderful dishes! Thanks for sharing Val :D

  22. I haven't made Tabbouleh in ages, I usually grab a container at Whole Foods, you've inspired me to make it again!

  23. This Tabbouleh looks amazing! i will definitely be adding many of your recipes to my menu!


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