Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Tabbouleh

Have you ever come across a dish, or a combination of flavours and thought to yourself - 'if I could only eat that one thing for the rest of my life, I think I'd be OK'? For me, tabbouleh is absolutely one of those dishes. Loaded with fresh herbs and Middle Eastern spices it really does taste fantastic, and it sorta feels like it's doing you some good at the same time, so that's a bonus. Pile it high on a pita or just eat it with a fork, it's your call. Just make it - your life will be much better if you do.
This is one of those brilliant, cut-everything-small-and-mix-it-together-and-that's-all-she-wrote kinda recipes. Pure, unadulterated flavour. You love it. Two big vine tomatoes and a shallot. Dice them up.
Now tabbouleh is traditionally made with bulgar wheat, but as my girlfriend has gone gluten and wheat-free that one was off the menu. I made mine using millet grain, which tastes the same and has a very similar texture - let's just pretend it's the same thing. Either/or, cook about 50g according to the instructions on the packet and leave to cool, then mix with the tomatoes and shallots. Add a few tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and give it a good old mix.
There's nothing better than a big bunch of fresh herbs, and this - my friends - is a big bunch of fresh herbs. Take about two handfuls of parsley and about half as much of fresh mint and, using a super-sharp knife, shred into tiny...shreds. Add it to your bowl and mix it up s'more.
This stuff, baharat, is great. It's an aromatic and peppery spice mix used in Middle Eastern inspired cooking (see what I did there?). Think Christmassy flavours - nutmeg and cinnamon, allspice and cloves, with a hit of chilli for good measure. I got this as a gift, but I'm willing to guess you can pick it up at any decent supermarket. Add a teaspoon of baharat and a couple teaspoons of allspice to your bowl, then bring the whole mixture together with about 100ml of good olive oil. Season with a little bit of S and a little bit of P for good measure.
And that's your tabbouleh done. Fresh, and packed full of flavour - this stuff is the bomb. And even though it more or less goes against every damn thing I stand for, it's probably pretty good for you too. Which just means you can go ahead and eat twice as much. Right? Right.

Ingredients

50g bulgar wheat/millet grain
2 vine tomatoes
1 shallot
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 handfuls fresh parsley
1 handful fresh mint
2 tsp allspice
1 tsp baharat
100ml olive oil
S&P

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