Tabbouleh, tabbouleh, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways… I’ve been churning out these dishes over the past few days, and trying my best not to gobble them all up as soon as they’re made. Yum! I’ve been using all kinds of bases; couscous, amaranth, rice, orzo, quinoa, take your pick. There are a few variations and “special tips/tricks”, but it’s essentially the same no matter how you spin it: equally delish!
Into the blender the dressing goes:
- Juice of one large lemon
- Olive oil to equal the above amount
- 1 large clove of peeled raw garlic
- Fresh leaves: a bunch of mint, a little less parsley, a little less than that of basil.
- salt & pepper
I can’t stress the importance of fresh leaves! My come from planter right outside, and if at all possible, so should yours.
Chop and drop into a bowl:
- 1/2 sweet onion (I prefer red), minced
- 1 field cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
- 1 medium tomato (or a few cherry tomatoes) diced
- More leaves, minced, for texture
Steam, boil, simmer, or nuke your base as required. I like to use a little vegetable stock in the cooking water. Saffron and fresh black pepper stirred into hot Israeli couscous make for some drool-worthy fumes! The red and black varieties of quinoa are nuttier-tasting and visually more interesting. In any event, you ought to let the cooked base cool before slopping the whole thing together, although I seldom do.
Whenever you do mix it all together, don’t forget the sprinkles: re-test the amount of salt & pepper, then get loopy and drop in a wee shake of cinnamon, cayenne, allspice, or all three. Oh yes oh yes!